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LPGA announces biennial International event

5:33 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - The LPGA Tour announced a new biennial event, the International Crown, on Thursday at the PGA Merchandise show.

The event will begin in July 2014 and will feature 32 players from eight countries. The inaugural event will be contested at Caves Valley, which is just outside of Baltimore.

"If you travel the world like we do, one thing is true, when you go play in Korea, they're rooting for Koreans. When you go play in Japan, they're rooting for the Japanese. They don't want to play on team Asia, they want to play each against other," LPGA Tour commissioner Michael Whan said at the announcement.

"Our challenge was to figure out how to bolster that incredible excitement that happens in all the homecomings. We said, let's not bring out a format that the world has seen before. Let's not figure out a U.S. centric format, let's let countries be countries."

The eight countries will come from the world rankings at the end of the 2013 season. The top four ranked players from every country will have their rankings added together and the best eight combined rankings will establish the countries in the event.

However, the four players used to create the teams do not automatically make the squad. The teams will not be locked in until the week of the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The first three days of the 4-day event will have the teams playing fourball matches against the other three teams in their brackets. Five countries will advance to Sunday's final round, which will be singles matches.

Teams will be awarded points for each of their match victories. The team with the most points will be crowned the overall champion.

In an added twist, each team will turn in an envelope with a name in it. That player will represent their country in a playoff if a tie needs to be broken.

The tournament will move to Rich Harvest Farms in 2016, but future venues have yet to be chosen. Rich Harvest Farms hosted the 2009 Solheim Cup.

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