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Physical challenges for U.S. Crown team

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INCHEON, South Korea – They’re the defending champs.

They’re the No. 2 seed behind the favored South Koreans.

The Americans are also a bit beaten up arriving this week for the UL International Crown.

Michelle Wie, 28, is playing for the first time in two months with lingering effects of a right hand injury, with a brand new swing designed to alleviate the stress on her hands and arthritic wrists.

Lexi Thompson, 23, hasn’t been herself all summer, having missed the cut in two of her last three starts after skipping the Women’s British Open to take a month-long mental break to sort out some personal challenges.

Jessica Korda, 25, is nursing a pair of sore wrists since playing on the hard surface at Royal Lytham & St. Annes during the Ricoh Women’s British Open in August. She aggravated her right wrist again hitting a couple shots out of divots on one of the many slopes at Evian Golf Resort in the Evian Championship last month, but she says it’s nothing serious enough to slow her down this week.


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Cristie Kerr, the 40-year-old veteran, may be arriving in the best overall condition of the American team, but she hasn't been satisfied with her play this season. She also missed the cut at the Evian Championship in her last start and has just two top 10s this year after winning three times around the world last year.

“My attitude is that it doesn’t matter how I’m playing going into these things,” Kerr said. “I’m going to give it my absolute all no matter how much it may exhaust me.

Korda says attitude is key in mustering grit near the end of a long year, and there’s plenty of motivation to dig deep this week.

“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself this week,” Korda said. “You’re playing for your country, for your teammates.”