The LPGA announced lineups for the UL International Crown in South Korea, and everyone who qualified has committed to play. Everyone, that is, except World No. 1 Inbee Park. In a most curious and shocking move, the seven-time major winner has given up her spot to compete on home soil. Her explanation is even more strange.
“It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said in a statement. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”
This edition of the UL International Crown, held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon City Oct. 4-7, is supposed to be off-the-charts big. That Korea’s most decorated player, an LPGA Hall of Famer and Olympic gold-medal winner, won’t be participating for any reason other than health issues won’t sit well with many.
And because Park waited so long to announce her intentions, the players next in line on the Rolex Rankings had already made commitments. The eight four-player teams were confirmed on July 2 via the Rolex Rankings after the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Both Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko declined to play in the Crown because both were committed to play in the HiteJinro Championship, a major on the Korean LPGA. Ko is sponsored by Hite.
Next up: two-time major winner In Gee Chun.
“Assuming I would not be qualified to play at the UL International Crown, I had already verbally committed to play at the HiteJinro Championship, a Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association’s major tournament. I have postponed this to a future date and decided to play at the UL International Crown this year,” said Chun in a statement. “I am going to do my best to have myself ready and make contributions to Team Korea and to the success of the UL International Crown. I am very grateful to UL and LPGA for this opportunity, and especially to HiteJinro for supporting my decision.”
Needless to say, it’s big news in South Korea.
Here are the confirmed lineups:
- South Korea: Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, In-Kyung Kim, In Gee Chun
- USA: Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie
- Japan: Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa
- England: Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law
- Australia: Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh
- Thailand: Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong
- Sweden: Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall
- Taiwan: Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung
The article "In shocking move, Inbee Park bows out of International Crown" was originally published on https://golfweek.com/2018/07/17/in-shocking-move-inbee-park-bows-out-of-international-crown/?src=rss