All you need to know about the International Crown

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2016, 3:06 pm

GURNEE, Ill. – Here are the basics you need to know about the LPGA’s UL International Crown, which begins Thursday at the Merit Club.

The Teams

Eight qualifying countries are divided into two pools. There are four players per team:

• Pool A – Republic of Korea, Australia, Chinese Taipei, China.

• Pool B – United States, Japan, Thailand, England.

The Seedings and Rosters

The countries are seeded based on the cumulative rankings of their top four players on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings as of June 13 (rankings in parentheses):

1. Republic of Korea: Sei Young Kim (5), In Gee Chun (7), Amy Yang (9), So Yeon Ryu (12).

2. United States: Lexi Thompson (3), Stacy Lewis (8), Gerina Piller (15), Cristie Kerr (21).

3. Japan: Haru Nomura (22), Ayaka Watanabe (45), Mika Miyazato (49), Ai Suzuki (59).

4. Australia: Minjee Lee (14), Su Oh (41), Karrie Webb (60), Rebecca Artis (182).

5. Chinese Taipei: Teresa Lu (32), Candie Kung (33), Yani Tseng (78), Ssu-Chia Cheng (160).

6. Thailand: Ariya Jutanugarn (6), Pornanong Phatlum (34), Moriya Jutanugarn (77), Porani Chutichai (169).

7. England: Charley Hull (27), Holly Clyburn (114), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (92), Melissa Reid (123).

8. China: Shanshan Feng (13), Xi Yu Lin (52), Jing Yan (99), Simin Feng (238).

The Purse

$1.6 million (with a winner's share of $100,000 per player).

The Format

Round-Robin Pool Play:

• Countries play matches against the countries within their own pool over the first three days, playing two fourball (best-ball) matches against every other country.

• Each team plays a different country (within its pool) each day.

• Points are awarded for a win (2 points) and a halved match (1 point).

Qualifying for Sunday

• The two countries with the most points in each pool automatically advance to Sunday.

• If there is a tie for first or second within a pool, the following tie-breaker will be used:

Total points accumulated in head-to-head matchups between the tied teams.

Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches.

Highest seeded team entering competition.

• The country with the third most points in each pool will compete in a wildcard playoff on Saturday night to determine the fifth and final country to advance to Sunday.

• Each country in the wild-card playoff must choose two players to represent it (within 5 minutes of the conclusion of pool play). The format for the playoff will be hole-by-hole fourball until a winner emerges. The tie-breaker will be the second ball from each country.

For example, Chinese Taipei and Australia finish third in their respective pools and they are in the playoff. Chinese Taipei chooses Yani Tseng and Candie Kung. Australia chooses Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee. After the first playoff hole, the players make the following scores. Tseng 4, Kung 4, Webb 4, Lee 5. Chinese Taipei wins the playoff since Kung made 4 and Lee made 5.

Sunday Singles

• The five countries will be seeded based on their total points from the first three days.

• If countries are tied, the following tie-breaker will be used:

Total points earned in head-to-head matchup (if they were in the same pool).

Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches.

Highest seeded team entering competition.

• With five teams advancing, that leaves 20 players for Sunday singles, setting up 10 matches. Each country will play one singles match against every other country. Click here for a look at the 2014 singles leaderboard.

The Crown

The country with the most points accumulated over four days wins. If there’s a tie after Sunday singles, a playoff will determine who wins the crown:

• Each country in the playoff must choose one player to represent it (within 5 minutes of the conclusion of play).

• The format will be hole-by-hole singles until a winner emerges.

TV Times

Thursday: Noon-4PM (Golf Channel)

Friday: Noon-4PM (Golf Channel)

Saturday: 3-7PM (Golf Channel)

Sunday: Noon-2PM (NBC) and 2-6PM (Golf Channel)

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

Getty Images

Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.