U.S. ousted from International Crown in playoff


OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Republic of Korea eliminated the United States on Saturday in a sudden-death playoff to win the wild-card berth into Sunday singles at the inaugural International Crown.

Five teams advanced  at Caves Valley Golf Club, but the No. 1-seeded Americans were not among them.

Thailand won Pool A with Spain taking the second spot from that pool.

Japan won Pool B with Sweden taking the second spot in that pool.

As the third-place finishers in each pool, the Americans and Koreans battled for the final spot in a sudden-death fourball playoff. The South Koreans won with Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu both making birdies at the first hole. Cristie Kerr also made birdie, but the format called for the second ball to serve as a tiebreaker. Lexi Thompson missed a 15-foot birdie chance after watching a nearly brilliant second shot roll back off the front of the green and come to rest in a divot.

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Spain 7 3-2-1
Thailand 7 3-2-1
USA 6 3-3-0
Chinese Taipei 4 2-4-0
Japan 8 3-1-2
Sweden 7 3-2-1
S. Korea 6 3-3-0
Australia 3 1-4-1

Match 1

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist def. Australia’s Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb, 5 and 3.

The lowdown: Nordqvist and Hedwall combined to go 6 under over the first eight holes in making it a blowout early. The Swedish tandem finished pool play unbeaten in fourballs at 2-0-1.

Match 2

Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid def. Australia’s Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright, 7 and 5.

The lowdown: Lindberg birdied the first hole and the Swedes never looked back. Lindberg and Parmlid were the only players who had failed to score a point coming into Saturday, but their victory was timely, helping the Swedes sweep Australia and qualify for Sunday singles.

Match 3

Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz def. Chinese Taipei's Yani Tseng and Phoebe Yao, 6 and 5.

The lowdown: It wasn’t Tseng’s and Yao’s day. They didn’t make a birdie until after they were 7 down.

Match 4

Spain’s Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari def. Chinese Taipei’s Candie Kung and Teresa Lu, 1 up.

The lowdown: Mozo chipped in for eagle at the 16th to give Spain its first lead in the match and then she holed a 25-footer for birdie to halve the 18th to close out the victory.

Match 5

South Korea’s Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu def. Japan’s Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato, 4 and 3.

The lowdown: Park and Ryu were 8 under through 13 holes to go 4 up in this runaway.

Match 6

Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine def. South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim, 3 and 2.

The lowdown: Miyazato and Yokomine went on a tear on the back nine, with Yokomine holing out from a fairway at the 10th for eagle and chipping in for another eagle at the 12th and Miyazato holing a bunker shot at the 14th for birdie.

Match 7

USA’s Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson def. Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and Ariya Jutanugarn, 3 and 2.

The lowdown: With Kerr a steadying hand as partner, Thompson caught fire. She birdied the 11th, eagled the 12th and birdied the 13th to put the Americans 4 up coming home.

Match 8

Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot def. USA's Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis, 1  up.

The lowdown: The Thais pulled the upset of Rolex world No. 1 Lewis and No. 12 Creamer. Phatlum is No. 28 in the world, Sattayabanphot No. 88. Lewis and Creamer shot a best-ball 64, but the Thais shot a 63.

The Playoff

South Korea’s Park and Ryu def. USA’s Kerr and Thompson on the first hole of sudden-death fourballs. With the second ball acting as a tiebreaker in the best-ball format, Park and Ryu both made birdie at the 16th, a par 5. Kerr made birdie and Thompson made par.