Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea to host LPGA’s int’l match play competition in 2018

July 21, 2016

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) — Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Korea, lying just west of the nation’s capital, will host the LPGA’s international match play competition in 2018.

The third edition of the biennial International Crown will be the first to be played outside the United States. The LPGA Tour made the announcement at Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois, the site of this year’s International Crown, on Wednesday (local time).

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, located in Incheon, west of Seoul, also hosted the 2015 Presidents Cup, a men’s match play competition between the United States and a team of non-European international players.

The International Crown was first contested in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Spain won the inaugural competition, followed by Sweden and South Korea.

“We are looking forward to working with (the course’s) staff, who has extensive experience in hosting premier golf competitions, to put on a terrific event,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.

In this file photo taken on Oct. 11, 2015, crowds are gathered at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon for the 2015 Presidents Cup.

In this file photo taken on Oct. 11, 2015, crowds are gathered at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon for the 2015 Presidents Cup.

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, bearing the name of its designer and one of the greatest legends in golf, opened in September 2010. It has also hosted other international events, such as the Songdo Championship on the PGA Tour Champions — formerly the Senior PGA Tour and Champions Tour — in 2010 and 2011, and the 2012 Korea Women’s Open on the KLPGA Tour. The 2016 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will take place in October this year, with the winner earning an invitation to the 2017 Masters.

“In a very short period of time, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea has established a tremendous reputation for its ability to stage significant golf events at any level, and for both men and women,” Nicklaus said. “With Korea’s global reputation for developing so many of the world’s finest female players, I think bringing an LPGA event to Jack Nicklaus Golf Club will be yet another source of pride for the country and the club.”

The course has retained all modifications and renovations from last year’s Presidents Cup, and tournament officials have indicated they will use a similar setup for the 2018 International Crown.

Eight countries are represented by four players apiece. The field of 32 players is determined by the world rankings, and the four highest-ranked golfers for each nation are eligible.

The LPGA Tour has had the Solheim Cup as its featured international event since 1990, but because it is only for Americans and Europeans, the biennial event has often left out the best female golfers from countries that include South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Japan.