American Cristie Kerr and South Korean I.K. Kim are the two biggest names in the tightest battles to secure roster spots for their countries in the inaugural International Crown.
It’s down to the wire now, with just two events remaining on the LPGA schedule before teams are set for the Olympic-style competition later this summer.
While the eight nations that will play the International Crown July 24-27 at Caves Valley outside Baltimore, Md., were set late last year, the competition for spots on those national rosters remains ongoing. Rosters will be set at the conclusion of the Kia Classic in two weeks. That leaves just next week’s JTBC Founders Cup and the Kia as LPGA events where players can qualify. There’s competition ongoing on other world tours, too.
The top four players in the world rankings from each qualified country will make their national teams.
As of now, Kerr holds the final roster spot on the American team. She’s No. 14 in the Rolex world rankings. Angela Stanford is No. 16 with Lizette Salas No. 20. They’re all scheduled to tee it up at the Founders Cup next week with a load of world-ranking points up for grabs.
Kim holds the final roster spot for the South Korean team. She is No. 12 in the Rolex world rankings. Fellow countrywoman Ha Na Jang is No. 13. Kim hasn’t played an LPGA event yet this year but will make her debut at the Founders Cup. Jang plays the Korean LPGA Tour and led that tour’s Order of Merit last year. The KLPGA doesn’t begin its season until next month. Former world No. 1 Jiyai Shin, who resigned her LPGA membership this year, is active on the Japan LPGA Tour with a shot to make the team. She’s No. 17 in the world.
Here are the International Crown teams and how the roster races shape up based on world rankings:
South Korea – No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 5 So Yeon Ryu, No. 9 Na Yeon Choi, No. 12 I.K. Kim, No. 13 Ha Na Jang, No. 17 Jiyai Shin.
United States – No. 3 Stacy Lewis, No. 8 Paula Creamer, No. 10 Lexi Thompson, No. 14 Cristie Kerr, No. 16 Angela Stanford, No. 20 Lizette Salas.
Japan – No. 25 Mika Miyazato, No. 28 Ai Miyazato, No. 37 Sakura Yokomine, No. 39 Rikako Morita, No. 47 Mamiko Higa, No. 48 Shiho Oyama.
Thailand – No. 33 Pornanong Phatlum, No. 34 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 79 Moriya Jutanugarn, No. 93 Onnarin Sattayabanphot, No. 100 Thidapa Suwannapura.
Spain – No. 21 Beatriz Recari, No. 24 Azahara Munoz, No. 42 Carlota Ciganda, No. 166 Belen Mozo, No. 251 Mireia Prat.
Sweden – No. 15 Anna Nordqvist, No. 22 Caroline Hedwall, No. 113 Pernilla Lindberg, No. 154 Mikaela Parmlid, No. 179 Camilla Lennarth.
Chinese Taipei – No. 44 Yani Tseng, No. 51 Teresa Lu, No. 95 Candie Kung, No. 164 Hsuan-Yu Yao, No. 220 Yun-Jye Wei.
Australia – No. 6 Karrie Webb, No. 111 Katherine Kirk, No. 112 Minjee Lee, No. 129 Stacey Keating, No. 131 Lindsey Wright.