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LPGA's International Crown to pit top eight countries

The SportsXchange

The LGPA announced the creation of the International Crown, a four-day tournament to debut in 2014 that will feature 32 players from eight counties playing in teams of four.

At the conclusion of the 2013 LPGA Tour season at the CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla., the top four players from each country will be taken from the Rolex world rankings. Their rankings will be combined to create a country ranking, and the top eight countries will qualify for the International Crown in 2014.

After the eight teams are decided, the four players who qualify for each team can still change based on play through the Kraft-Nabisco.

"That gives us a few more tournaments and a few more nervous months to figure out who are the four players on each of those countries, and those will be the four top-ranked players in each country," LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said.

The eight countries will be split into two pools by rankings. Each country will play the other countries in its pool over the first three days in two four-ball matches.

In an interesting twist, there will be no coaches or captains. It will be up to the players to decide who will play each match, and no one will sit a match. A win will be worth two points, a halve will earn one point, and the totals will be tallied after Saturday's matches. The two highest-scoring teams from each pool will advance to Sunday.

The two third-place teams will face off in a sudden-death playoff to become the fifth team in for Sunday's finale. The players for the sudden death match will be chosen by each country before the tournament and sealed in an envelope.

Sunday's action will consist of singles play, with each match worth two points, adding to the total each country has accumulated through the week.

"For me and everybody else, there's nothing like representing your country, and playing as a team, I love it, and I have played junior golf representing Spain as a team," said Spain's Azahara Munoz.

"So as a European and American, we get lucky enough, but only do it once every two years. This format is amazing, it will be pressure but pressure for everybody and great for golf."

American Stacy Lewis said the decisions the players must make amongst themselves during the tournament makes for an interesting dynamic.

"It will be fun, though. It will be different," she said. "I mean, you'll get to see the friendships that we generally have. I mean, we are friends. We do care about each other and you'll see that out there."

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League type:
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Draft time:
Aug 29 9:00 am
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