Korea seal International Crown on home soil

News & Tour

Keel Timmins wraps up the action from the UL International Crown, where Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, In-Kyung Kim and In-Gee Chun were triumphant

Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, In-Kyung Kim and In-Gee Chun delivered yet more proof – if it needed any – that South Korea are the dominant force in women’s golf as the quartet claimed the UL International Crown in front of an exuberant home crowd.

Korea held a two-point lead as they entered the Sunday singles matches, and while England and the United States of America began to apply pressure, the home favourites eventually ran out as comfortable four-point winners.

England started the final round three points adrift, and when Charley Hull won a tight early encounter with Pornanong Phatlum to get within one point of the leaders, tension started to rise at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club.

But Jodi Ewart Shadoff lost her match with Pernilla Lindberg on the final green which, along with Chun taking control of her match against Anna Nordqvist, settled the nerves among the partisan home support.

Park was defeated by Ariya Jutanugarn 2&1 in what was a mouth-watering clash between the two best players in the world, but Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr were downed by Moriya Jutanugarn and Georgia Hall respectively to end the USA’s chances.

And so, with only four matches left on the course, England were the only team other than Korea who still held a chance of winning the trophy.

Bronte Law raced to a two-up lead early on against Kim, but the Korean clawed her way back and eventually secured the trophy on the par-3 17th green when she was one-up with just one hole to play.

It was an anti-climatic end to what was a thrilling day’s golf, with the Korean team, along with the fans that had lined the fairways, unaware that their side had mathematically won the Crown.

It wasn’t until Chun closed out her match with Nordqvist on the 18th green that the celebrations began, and even then, Ryu and Lexi Thompson were still playing in the final group. In what was an incredibly tight game, the two eventually halved the match on the 18th after Thompson found herself two-up with five to play.

“We really feel nervous before majors but we have been nervous for a couple of months to prepare for this tournament,” Ryu said.

“We actually worried about it because we worried about how to deal with this pressure. Turns out because this was home field, we felt more comfortable because so many fans came out supporting us, we had a lot of benefit.”

All of the talk pre-tournament was surrounding the expected huge attendance and the undoubted pressure that the Koreans would be under, but the American, Kerr, said she was surprised at how well the home side dealt with the occasion.

“What really impressed me is that they looked like they enjoyed themselves and really embraced the fans and they didn’t put the extra pressure on themselves that I thought they would,” Kerr explained.

Final standings

South Korea – 15 points
United States – 11 points
England – 11 points
Thailand – 10 points
Sweden – 9 points

Sunday singles results

Caroline Hedwall (SWE) halved Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (THA)
Charley Hull (ENG) defeated Pornanong Phatlum (THA) 1 up
Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) defeated Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 1 up
Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) defeated Michelle Wie (USA) 2&1
Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) defeated Sung Hyun Park (KOR) 2&1
Jessica Korda (USA) defeated Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) 4&3
In-Gee Chun (KOR) defeated Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 1 up
Georgia Hall (ENG) defeated Cristie Kerr (USA) 2&1
In-Kyung Kim (KOR) defeated Bronte Law (ENG) 2 up
So Yeon Ryu (KOR) halved Lexi Thompson (USA)

Best moments

Upcoming

The LPGA Tour’s Asian swing is now underway; the players will stay in Incheon, Korea, this week for the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at Sky 72 Golf Club.

 

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