Published : 2013-01-25 19:48
Updated : 2013-01-25 19:48
SAN DIEGO (AP) ― Two years before golf returns to the Olympics, the LPGA Tour is creating a tournament to determine the best in the world.
The International Crown will start in 2014 and be played every other year. It will feature four days of team matches among eight countries that can field the strongest four-player teams based on the world rankings. The inaugural event will be in late July at Caves Valley Golf Club outside Baltimore.
“We have a tour designed to identify the best player in the world. The Olympics will award the best female golfer and country,” LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said Thursday. “But we have nothing that addresses which country is building the best stable of women’s golfers.”
He announced the new event at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.
As much as the International Crown has an Olympic flavor, it might be more closely related to the Solheim Cup, which for years did not include the best players in women’s golf because it was only for Americans and Europeans.
Among those who never played were Karrie Webb of Australia, Pak Se-ri of South Korea, Lorena Ochoa of Mexico and Yani Tseng of Taiwan.
Whan said the players would be in uniforms of their country, free of corporate sponsorships. The purse will be $1.6 million, with $400,000 going to the winning team. It also will be played in the middle of the LPGA Tour season, when players are in form for the majors and media interest is higher than it would be at the end of the year.