LPGA Tour Returning To Action With Eyes On International Crown

The LPGA Tour resumes next week in Arizona, and then it has one tournament in Los Angeles before the deadline to qualify for the International Crown.

Jennifer Kupcho and Yuka Saso are among those on both sides of the bubble.

The event is among the best new formats in golf over the last 10 years — eight countries of four players competing with a combination of fourballs and foursomes and singles. It will be played May 4-7 at Harding Park.

The eight countries were confirmed after last season — the United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, England, China, Sweden and Australia. The four players are determined by the world ranking through the LA Open on April 2.

Lilia Vu winning the Honda LPGA Thailand moved her into position. She now is No. 11 in the world for the third spot on the U.S. team, three spots ahead of Danielle Kang. Kupcho, who won her first major last year, is at No. 18 and has work to do.

Saso won the U.S. Women’s Open two years ago playing for the Philippines and now competes for Japan. She is No. 33 in the world and has the fourth spot, just ahead of Mao Saigo, who is at No. 34. Saigo plays the Japan LPGA, is in the field this week and there are two more events after the cutoff.

Australia will come down to Sarah Kemp (170) and Grace Kim (179), while the final three spots for Thailand are among five players from No. 68 to No. 91.