International Crown, Day 1: Faceplant
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/25/14
Yesterday, the LPGA International Crown began at Caves Valley Golf Club, outside Baltimore. Each team plays two matches each day, with the winner earning two points. A halved match results in each team receiving one point.
Team USA were armed with four major champions and every player ranked 12th in the world or better. Their opponent on Thursday, 8th-seeded Chinese Taipei, has only one major champion, Yani Tseng, who is currently ranked 46th in the world. Many pundits were thinking that this would be a cakewalk.
It was a cakewalk — for Chinese Taipei.
Teresa Lu (48th in the world) and Candie Kung (97) dispatched Paula Creamer (8) and Cristie Kerr (12), 4 & 3. Meanwhile, Tseng (46) and Phoebe Yao (160) never trailed in their 1-up victory over Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson.
Team USA did not secure even a single point on Thursday. However, Kerr refused to sound discouraged in front of the gathered press:
"You just have to keep positive and try to find the good in the day. We're going to be coming out guns a blazing. We have nothing to lose from here on in. There's a lot of golf left this week, and some teams that maybe won three points today might get shut out tomorrow."Kerr was referring to Spain, who lead Pool A with three points. Carlota Ciganda (45) and Azahara Muñoz (19) took a 3 & 2 victory from Team Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot. Meanwhile, Belén Mozo (149) and Beatriz Recari (23) halved with Thailand's sister act, Ariya (34) and Moriya (80) Jutanugarn.
Over in Pool B, South Korea and Australia traded wins. Major champions Inbee Park (1) and So Yeon Ryu (6) defeated Katherine Hull-Kirk (98) and Lindsey Wright (130), 3 & 2. But Hall-of-Famer Karrie Webb (5) and the extremely impressive amateur Minjee Lee (110) took care of I.K. Kim (15) and 2012 U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi (11), 2-up.
To the surprise of some, Japan took three out of a possible four points from Sweden. Ai Miyazato (31) and Sakura Yokomine (37) went wire-to-wire in taking out Pernilla Lindberg (112) and Mikaela Parmlid (172), 2-up. Caroline Hedwall (24) and 2009 LPGA champ Anna Nordqvist (10), both Solheim Cup heroines from last August, managed a halve against Rikako Morita (36) and Sakyra Yokomine (37).
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Image via LPGA International Crown
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