Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei also qualify for the elite biennial team competition
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 4, 2018 – There were no changes at the top of the standings on Monday when tournament hosts Republic of Korea and defending champions the United States qualified as the leading two teams for the 2018 UL International Crown.
The remaining six countries to book their places at the Oct. 4-7 biennial team competition in Korea, as determined by the combined Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings of the top four players from each nation on June 4, were Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei. Spain, ranked ninth, and China (10th) missed out. The final team rankings were determined following the conclusion of the U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham in Alabama.
The final field of 32 players and the final country seeding will be confirmed via the Rolex Rankings as of July 2, the Monday after the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Countries must have a minimum of four ranked players to be eligible.
"It’s really cool to see that the Republic of Korea is currently the number one nation again - we had the number one spot in 2016 - and Team USA, the reigning champions, are number two,” said former Rolex Rankings World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu, who represented Korea at the first two editions of the UL International Crown.
"It's even more cool when we have the tournament in Korea but there's going to be a lot of pressure on our shoulders as well. Hopefully it will finish with a really cool storyline, with the number one seed going on to win the Crown! I'm making it some kind of superstition for myself since we finished third at the very first UL International Crown and second last time, so it's going to be first this time. I really like that progression!"
The UL International Crown, a unique team match-play competition that features the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, is being staged outside the United States for the first time since it was launched in 2014. This year's edition will be hosted by Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which is located in the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, and massive fan support is expected in a country that is extraordinarily passionate about golf.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Se Ri Pak, who inspired generations of players in her native Korea, has been appointed as the Honorary Director for this year’s UL International Crown, adding to the prestige and symbolism of this high-profile event.
The UL International Crown was first held in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland where Spain, represented by Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, Carlota Ciganda and Belen Mozo, won all four singles matches on the final day to become the inaugural champions.
Two years later, a powerful United States lineup of Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Gerina Piller came from behind to win the prestigious title at Merit Club in Chicago where Spain failed to qualify for the event.