Get ready: LPGA International Crown primer

By Randall MellJuly 22, 2014, 12:46 pm

Here's all you need to know about the LPGA's new International Crown team event, which kicks off Thursday at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.

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

• Pool A – USA, Thailand, Spain, Chinese Taipei.

• Pool B – Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden, Australia.

THE SEEDINGS
The countries were seeded based on the cumulative rankings of their top four players on the Rolex Rankings as of March 31, 2014:

1. United States

2. Republic of Korea

3. Japan

4. Thailand

5. Spain

6. Sweden

7. Australia

8. Chinese Taipei

THE ROSTERS
(Rolex world rankings as of 7/21/14 in parenthesis)

USA – Stacy Lewis (1), Lexi Thompson (5), Cristie Kerr (10), Paula Creamer (12).

Republic of Korea – Inbee Park (3), So Yeon Ryu (9), Na Yeon Choi (18), I.K. Kim (23).

Japan – Sakura Yokomine (38), Mika Miyazato (51), Ai Miyazato (58), Mamiko Higa (68).

Thailand – Ariya Jutanugarn (43), Moriya Jutanugarn (120), Pornanong Phatlum (28), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (88).

Spain – Azahara Munoz (28), Beatriz Recari (37), Carlota Ciganda (63), Belen Mozo (112).

Sweden – Anna Nordqvist (11), Caroline Hedwall (33), Pernilla Lindberg (135), Mikaela Parmlid (236).

Australia – Karrie Webb (7), Minjee Lee (73), Katherine Kirk (108), Lindsey Wright (165).

Chinese Taipei – Teresa Lu (44), Yani Tseng (53), Phoebe Yao (105), Candie Kung (118).

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


Mell: Eight teams ready to battle at International Crown


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 halve (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 them (within 5 minutes of the conclusion of regular play). The format for the playoff will be hole-by-hole (sudden death) fourball. 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 Katherine Kirk. After the first playoff hole, the players make the following scores. Tseng 4, Kung 4, Webb 4, Kirk 5. Chinese Taipei wins the playoff since Kung made 4 and Kirk 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 player from a particular country will be pitted against a player from another country.

For example, if the United States advances, Stacy Lewis could end up playing against a player from South Korea, Lexi Thompson a player from Japan, Cristie Kerr a player from Thailand and Paula Creamer a player Spain.

THE CROWN

The country with the most points accumulated over four days wins. If there’s a tie, a Sunday 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 (sudden death) singles.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

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.

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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.