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Fierce Competition For International Crown Spots

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At the end of the 2013 season we found out who the eight countries were that will be competing in the International Crown that will be played in 2014.

There are still some very important things that have to be decided yet. They include:

  • The players that will be representing their countries.
  • The final seeding of the countries themselves.

We will not know the results of the above until the Monday of the Kraft Nabisco Championship week.

I have been asked many times if you have to be an LPGA member to compete in this event, and the answer is no. You just have to be one of your country's four highest Rolex Ranked players. A country that does not have 4 ranked players does not qualify.

We will have changes each week as tournaments are being played leading up to the April deadline.
Here are the current seedings, and the players that would represent their countries if the cut-off was today.

1- South Korea - 23
Inbee Park (1)
So Yeon Ryu (5)
Na Yeon Choi (7)
I.K. Kim (10)
On the outside:
Ha Na Jang (14)
Amy Yang (15)
Jiyai Shin (16)
Hee Young Park (18)

With 8 of the top 18 players in the world from South Korea, this is going to be a dogfight right to the very end. You would think the top 3 players here are safe, with everyone else chasing I.K. for her spot. This team will be going in as the #1 seed and will be the favorite to win. My odds 5-2.

2- United States - 37
Stacy Lewis (3)
Lexi Thompson (9)
Paula Creamer (12)
Cristie Kerr (13)
On the outside:
Lizette Salas (17)
Angela Stanford (19)
Jessica Korda (24)

Jessica Korda's victory last week has made this very interesting. Stacy is a lock, and it would appear that barring a complete collapse, Lexi is safe also. Paula and Cristie are going to have to play well to keep their spots, as Lizette has become a big factor. It would appear that Jessica would need another win to jump into the top four. This team, especially if Jessica plays her way on, will be a very strong contender. My odds 3-1 with Jessica, 7-2 without.

3- Japan - 119
Mika Miyazato (21)
Ai Miyazato (23)
Sakura Yokomine (35)
Rikako Morita (40)
On the outside:
Miki Saiki (45)
Shiho Oyama (48)
Mamiko Higa (49)
Yomiko Yoshida (51)

Although the Miyazatos have not been playing well, their spots appear to be safe. Who will fill the last two spots is anyone's guess. Higa could be someone to watch here. I think I liked this team a whole lot better at this time last year. They do have the 3rd seed sewn up, but I don't see them as a big threat at this stage. My odds 8-1.

4- Thailand - 252
Pornanong Phatlum (30)
Ariya Jutanugarn (31)
Moriya Jutanugarn (82)
Thidapa Suwannapura (109)
On the outside:
No one. This team is set.

Thailand just recently passed Spain and took over the 4th seed. Ariya, it has been reported, has been back swinging the golf clubs and will be ready. This team is a real dark horse. Odds 7-1.

5- Spain - 269
Beatriz Recari (20)
Azahara Munoz (36)
Carlotta Ciganda (38)
Belen Mozo (175)
On the outside:
No one. This team is set.

This team has shown that they can play well in match play. Azahara's only LPGA victory was at the Sybase Match Play Championship. The top 3 players all have been very successful in Solheim Cup play. If Belen, currently the weak link here, can play well, watch out! My odds  5-1.

6- Sweden - 317
Caroline Hedwall (22)
Anna Nordqvist (27)
Pernilla Lindberg (119)
Mikaela Parmlid (149)
On the outside:
Karin Sjodin (203)

We all saw what Caroline is capable of when she went 5-0-0 at the Solheim Cup last year. She is capable of carrying a team on her shoulders. That said, I don't think her shoulders are big enough to pull this one off. Caroline and Anna might be able to throw a scare into Japan when they meet in the first round, but I don't see this team getting farther than that. My odds 10-1.

7- Australia - 352
Karrie Webb (8)
Katherine Kirk (105)
Stacey Keating (114)
Lindsey Wright (126)
On the outside:
Rebecca Artis (146)
Sara Jane Smith (168)

I don't think this team has any chance of winning it all. That said, this team is loaded with experience, and could pull off an early upset. My odds 10-1

8- Chinese Taipei - 353
Yani Tseng (43)
Teresa Lu (52)
Candie Kung (95)
Hsuan-Yu Yao (163)
On the outside:
Yun-Jye Wei (212)

With Yani playing very poorly, and a serious lack of depth, this team has little or no chance. Will open up against either the U.S. or South Korea. My Odds 12-1.


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