Wednesday, July 23, 2014

International Crown Preview / Priority List Reshuffle

I am posting this a bit later than usual this week as I just drove back home from the Marathon Classic. It was another incredible tournament as Lydia Ko won for the second time this season. So Yeon Ryu had a chance to force a playoff on the final hole but missed a  6 foot putt. It certainly seems that every tournament has had that kind of finish this year. Very few tournaments have been decided before the 72nd hole.

This week the LPGA takes a break from its official tournament schedule, for the playing of the International Crown. This is a biennial event that will take place in even numbered years, as opposed to the Solheim Cup's odd  numbered years. It is a global  matchplay competition  that will feature 8 countries battling for the rights to be called "The World's Best Golf Nation."

Here are the key details:

Course:  Caves Valley Golf Club
Location:  Owings Mills, Maryland
Defending Champion:  This is the first time this event is taking place
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field:  32 players
Par:  35/36 = 71 
Yardage:  6,628
Purse:  $1,600,000

The final field of eight countries was determined by the combined Rolex World Rankings of the top four players from each country as of the Rolex World Rankings published at the conclusion of the 2013 CME Group Titleholders event on Sunday, November 24, 2013. (Countries must have had a minimum of four ranked players to be eligible.) The final field of 32 players was determined on Monday, March 31, 2014 according to the Rolex World Rankings at the conclusion of the Kia Classic.

The competition will take place over four days. It will feature three days of four-ball competition and one day of singles matches on Sunday. Five of the eight countries will advance to the Sunday singles matches based on the outcome of the four-ball matches contested Thursday – Saturday.

Points will be awarded per match based on the following - two for a win; one for a tie and zero for a loss. All points from the four-ball matches will carry over to Sunday and the total cumulative points for the four days of competition will be used to determine the overall champion.

Each country will play two four-ball matches against each of the other three countries in their bracket.

At the conclusion of the three days of four-ball competition the two teams with the most points from each pool and one wild-card team will advance to Sunday Singles. In the event of a tie between teams tied for first or tied for second in each pool, the following tie-breaker will be used:

1. Total points accumulated in head-to-head matchups between the tied teams
2. Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches
3. Highest seeded team entering competition

At the conclusion of the three days of four-ball matches, any country in third place or tied for third place in their respective pool will compete in a sudden-death, wild-card playoff to determine the final team to advance to Sunday's singles matches.

Once the wild-card competing countries have been determined, each country will select two players to compete in a sudden death, four-ball playoff to determine the wild-card winner.

After the wild-card playoff, countries will be re-seeded #1 through 5 based on total points earned in the four-ball matches.  In the event of a tie during the re-seed, the following tie-breaker will be used:
1. Total points accumulated in all six four-ball matches
2. Total points earned in head to head matchup (if they were in the same pool)
3. Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches
4. Highest seeded team entering competition.

Each country will play one singles match against every other country

At the conclusion of the 10 Sunday singles matches, the country with the highest point total from the four days of competition will be “Crowned” the best golf nation in the world!

In the event of a tie after the Sunday singles matches, each country will select one player who will compete in a sudden-death playoff to determine the champion.

For more on this event see the Constructivist over at Mostly Harmless.

Priority List Reshuffle:
The second of two LPGA Priority List reshuffles were done today.
The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.

The following players made the most important gains, and should now be playing in all full field events:
Lee-Anne Pace - 152 to 93
Laura Davies - 143 to 97
Yueer Cindy Feng - 165 to 103

The following players are not guaranteed to play all full field events, but have a much better chance than before the reshuffle:
Anya Alverez - 168 to 155
Louise Friberg - 173 to 154
Katie Harris - 178 to 156
Joanna Klatten - 157 to 147
Kris Tamulis - 159 - 148

The following players got hurt the most and most likely will be seeing less playing time:
Jenny Suh - 100 to 149
Ashleigh Simon - 102 to 141
Stacey Keating - 145 to 150
Lori Kane - 146 to 153
Megan McCrystal - 147 to 151
Nicole Jeray - 148 to 159
Julia Boland - 150 to 157
Veronica Felibert - 151 to 158
Emma Jandel - 154 to 162
Dana Holmqvist - 155 to 165
Birdie Kim - 156 to 167

Other Tidbits:
Azahara Munoz, whose clubs were lost by her airline, missed the cut for the first time in 26 events.

Ai Miyazato's top 20 finish at the Marathon Classic was her first in her last 19 tournaments.

Rolex Rankings Mover of the Week:
Lee-Anne Pace made the most important move by an LPGA player this week, jumping from #55 to #48.

Race to the CME Globe: (one million dollars)
Stacy Lewis keeps her commanding lead with 3,721 points. She is followed by Michelle Wie with 2,588, and Lydia Ko with 2,481.

Who's Hot:
So Yeon Ryu has finished in the top ten in four of her last five starts.
Julieta Granata has 3 consecutive top ten finishes, and eight straight top 25's.

Who's Not:
Sun Young Yoo has only made one cut in her last six starts.

Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the week. Links to the live scoreboards are always available here at the top of this page.

Here are the Final results:
1Spain - 15
2- Sweden - 11
3- Japan - 10
3- Republic of Korea - 10
5- Thailand - 11
6- United States - 6 (eliminated)
7- Chinese Taipei - 4 (eliminated)
8- Australia - 3 (eliminated)

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