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Get ready: LPGA International Crown primer

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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.