England’s Chances Take Hit At International Crown

The International Crown returns to the LPGA Tour this week, one of the most innovative formats and the lone tournament where multiple countries compete against each other.

The Solheim Cup was a decade old when South Korea began to emerge as the dominant country in women’s golf and Karrie Webb of Australia was winning majors at an amazing clip. So the International Crown, which began in 2014, looked after non-European players.

But there’s still no place for Lydia Ko of New Zealand except for the Olympics.

The eight teams are based on cumulative world ranking of players. Ko recently fell to No. 2 in the world, but only one other Kiwi — Momoka Kobori at No. 185 — is in the top 200 and in the top 500, Hanee Song sits at No. 442.

England took a big hit when Georgia Hall (No. 10) and Charley Hull (No. 17) withdrew on Monday. Hall has a nagging foot injury and Hull has been dealing with stomach issues. They were replaced by Alice Hewson (No. 165) and Liz Young (No. 207). England is the No. 5 seed, though their cumulative world ranking (520) now puts them eighth behind China.