Taiwan On Top After Day One Of 2014 International Crown; USA Struggles Out The Gate

Phoebe Yao and Yani Tseng (click to enlarge)

2014 has been a year of United States resurgence on the LPGA Tour with 11 of 18 tournaments so far won by Americans, including all 3 Majors to date. Meanwhile, former world #1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan is still struggling to recapture her past mastery. Well, you wouldn’t have known those two things were the case on day one of the inaugural International Crown as underdog Taiwan shocked the heavily favored Americans by winning both fourball matches, including the most lopsided win of the day as Candie Kung and Teresa Lu dominated two former US Women’s Open champions, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr 4 & 3. The exclamation point was a clutch putt on 18 by Yani to shut the door on Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson at 1 Up. It’s only the first day, so there is time for the United States to bounce back. However, the ghosts of the 2013 Solheim Cup loss to Europe were awakened by their opening round showing.

 

Azahara Munoz (click to enlarge)

While Taiwan was the only team to collect 4 points (2 points for each win), right behind them in Pool A is Spain at 3 points. Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda bested Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot of Thailand 3 & 2 while Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo finished All Square with the Jutanugarn sisters, Ariya and Moriya. For that split, Thailand also gets on the board with 1 point. However, sisters May and Mo know they will need more points on day two.

Ai Miyazato (click to enlarge)

Pool B is also led by a team not eligible for Solheim Cup as Japan grabbed 3 points to lead their group of four. Ai Miyazato and (my favorite JLPGAer) Sakura Yokomine won 2 up versus Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden. Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato were able to wrest a split from Solheim standouts Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall. It would be somewhat fitting if a team not eligible for Solheim Cup were to win the inaugural International Crown. There’s still a long way to go, though.

Inbee Park (click to enlarge)

Tied for 2nd in Pool B are South Korea and Australia. Like the American team of Creamer and Kerr, South Korea fielded an all-US Women’s Open winner pairing of Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu. Unlike the Americans, Inbee and So Yeon won their match over Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright 3 & 2. The Aussie struck back with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and “amateur” Minjee Lee winning 2 Up over Na Yeon Choi and In Kyung Kim. When critics talked about those not able to play Solheim Cup, a frequent theme was the exclusion of so many great South Korean players. They are a strong team. But also remember that the Aussies can’t play Solheim Cup, either. I, for one, am so happy to see this event!

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

POOL A

TAIWAN (4 points) vs USA (zero points)

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng

Phoebe Yao

Yani Tseng

Teresa Lu and Candie Kung

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng hugs Lexi Thompson

Yani Tseng hugs Stacy Lewis

Stacy Lewis

Cristie Kerr

Paula Creamer

Lexi Thompson

Stacy Lewis

Lexi Thompson

Cristie Kerr

Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson

Paula Creamer

Paula Creamer

 

POOL A

SPAIN (3 points) vs THAILAND (1 point)

Carlota Ciganda

Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo

Team Spain

Belen Mozo

Belen Mozo

Moriya Jutanugarn and Ariya Jutanugarn

Ariya Jutanugarn

Ariya Jutanugarn

Team Thailand

 

POOL B

JAPAN (3 points) vs SWEDEN (1 point)

Mamiko Higa

Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato

Mika Miyazato

Mika Miyazato

Sakura Yokomine

Anna Nordqvist

Pernilla Lindberg

Anna Nordqvist

Caroline Hedwall

Pernilla Lindberg

Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall

 

SOUTH KOREA (2 points) vs AUSTRALIA (2 points)

So Yeon Ryu

Na Yeon Choi

Na Yeon Choi and In Kyung Kim

Na Yeon Choi

Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright

Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright

Minjee Lee

Minjee Lee

Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s