Chicago, United States: Tournament hosts Republic of Korea, spearheaded by Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon, have earned the number one seeding for the 2018 UL International Crown.
Defending champions, Team USA, were seeded second when the final field of 32 players was confirmed via the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Korea will be represented at the October 4-7 biennial team competition by Park In-bee, Ryu, Park Sung-hyun and Kim In-kyung – a powerful quartet of former Major champions – while Team USA will also boast a potent line-up with Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie.
The remaining six countries that have qualified to compete at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon City, in order of seeding, are Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei.
Their team line-ups are: Japan (Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa); England (Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law); Australia (Min-jee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh); Thailand (Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong); Sweden (Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall); and Chinese Taipei (Teresa Lu, Hsu Wei-ling, Yao Hsuan-yu, Candie Kung).
“If you think about it, these teams are as hard to make as the Olympics,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “So what you’re essentially going to get in October is a glimpse of Team Korea, an Olympic-calibre team, competing against seven other high-quality teams. Korea hosted the Winter Games earlier this year, now Korean sports fans are going to get a glimpse of the Summer Games when we show up for the UL International Crown!”
UL President and CEO Keith Williams said: “Playing the UL International Crown in Korea is going to be one of the most exciting competitions in the world of golf this year. At UL, we strive for excellence, and we salute the excellent play of all the golfers who have qualified to represent their countries come October.”
The final seedings for the 2018 UL International Crown were determined following the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Countries required a minimum of four ranked players to be eligible.
If a player ranked in the top four of a pre-qualified country is unable to compete in Korea, or chooses not to compete, that spot will be filled by the next highest-ranked available player from the Rolex Rankings as of July 2. Player substitutions will not be allowed once pairings are published for the first round of matches.
The UL International Crown, a unique team match-play competition that features the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, is being staged outside the United States for the first time since it was launched in 2014.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Pak Se-ri, who inspired generations of players in her native Korea, has been appointed as the Honorary Director for this year’s event.
The UL International Crown was first held in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club where Spain won all four singles matches on the final day to become the inaugural champions.
Two years later, a powerful United States line-up of Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Thompson and Gerina Piller came from behind to win the title at Merit Club in Chicago.