Meet the 32 players in the UL International Crown: Pool B
With the UL International Crown set to get underway next week, we take an in-depth look at each player representing the eight countries in South Korea at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. Here’s how they line up in Pool B…
2016: 1 | 2014: 6
Record: W4 L3 D0
It’s been an incredibly tough year for the United States’ biggest star. She decided to pull out of the British Open due to personal reasons, and she then missed the cut at the Evian Championship after flubbing her chip shot on the 18th hole, which drew tears on the green. It’s perhaps a little surprising that she’s even teeing it up this week.
Made a simply remarkable return to the game by winning the Honda LPGA Thailand in her first start since undergoing jaw surgery, of which she is still feeling the effects. She’s since been understandably inconsistent, but a top-10 at the Evian last time out is a promising sign. With many doubts surrounding the rest of her teammates, she will likely have to play a blinder if her team is to regain the trophy they won two years ago.
Record: W5 L2 D0
A fiery matchplay competitor, but Kerr will have to improve on this year’s results if she’s to maintain her excellent record. Just two top-10s all year suggests that she has a lot of work to do.
Withdrew from the British Open with injury, and she hasn’t been seen since. Recent social media posts suggests that she is getting there, but it’s a huge ask for her to come back and hit top form straight away in what will be a raucous atmosphere in Korea.
2016: 5 | 2014: T3
Young superstar who has finally figured out the LPGA after disappointing in her first season last year. Top-16 finishes in her last three events means she’ll enter her first Crown with confidence of being the player to lead her side to victory.
Record: W0 L2 D2
Already a four-time winner this year on the Japanese tour, this 24-year-old is a seriously classy competitor who will be looking to make up for her winless Crown two years ago.
Three missed cuts in her last four events, but this debutant is a proven winner on the Japanese tour and has more than enough ability to compete at this level.
Record: W1 L2 D1
The 24-year-old has long been a classy player in Japan with four wins, but she contended in the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in August, where it was quite clear that she’s a very special talent. Stepped in at late notice four years ago in this event and more than held her own. On a more irrelevant note, she recently married world class sumo wrestler Ikioi Shota.
2016: 7 | 2014: 5
Record: W1 L4 D2
The world No.2 has a surprisingly poor record in the UL International Crown, but she’s a much better player now than she was two years ago, and she’ll likely be motivated to lead from the front to help improve the team’s Crown record.
Record: W2 L3 D2
Ariya’s sister has largely been anonymous ever since she broke through on the LPGA in LA in April, with no top-10 to her name since the Meijer Classic in June – which is highly unlike the typically consistent 24-year-old. The sisters’ split with their swing coach Gary Gilchrist seemingly hasn’t assisted matters for Moriya in particular.
Record: W4 L2 D1
Phatlum has the best record out of the ever-present Thailand players in this event, and despite failing to build on her sensational British Open performance in August, she’s still a steely competitor and is the most reliable player on this team.
Good luck pronouncing this name, even her first name isn’t as simple as it looks – it’s Sher-MAN, instead of the usual pronunciation of Sherman. As for the second name, your guess is as good as mine. From a world ranking perspective, she’s the weakest player in the tournament. That’s a result of a short and crooked long-game, but she ranks as one of the best players on tour in par-3 scoring while also being a very dangerous putter, so she certainly shouldn’t be written off.
2016: DNP | 2014: 2
Record: W3 L0 D1
Perhaps the best matchplay competitor in the tournament. The two-time major champion holds an exceptional record in Solheim Cup, and indeed the UL International Crown. Expect to see her galvanise what is an out-of-form team.
Record: W2 L2 D0
Won her first major and tournament at the ANA Inspiration at the beginning of the season by taking down none other than Inbee Park in a gruelling playoff at Rancho Mirage. Since that win, she’s managed just one top-10 and is badly out of form, although there was a glimpse of a return to form when finishing 26th at the Evian a few weeks ago.
Played very nicely at the U.S. Women’s Open to finish 17th, but it’s been a year to forget for the 25-year-old after missing the cut in almost half of her events played. However, she’ll be able to draw on her Solheim Cup debut last year when she defeated Austin Ernst in the Sunday singles.
Record: W2 L1 D1
Volatile 29-year-old who has returned to form in spectacular fashion in recent weeks on the LET, firing a final round of 62 to win the Open de France and then surging into contention last time out at the Estrella Damm Open with another 62 in the penultimate round. Struck up a nice partnership with Nordqvist two years ago, and the two could rekindle that this time around in Korea.