S. Korea stunned by China in International Crown opening

July 22, 2016

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) — The top-seeded South Korea suffered a stunning loss to China to open an LPGA international match play competition.

South Korea split its foursome matches with China at the International Crown at Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois, on Thursday (local time). South Korea is the No. 1 seed in the eight-nation competition, while China has been seeded eighth.

The team of Amy Yang and Chun In-gee defeated Feng Shanshan and Lin Xi Yu 1-up, but Ryu So-yeon and Kim Sei-young lost to Yan Jing and Feng Simin 1-down.

Kim came in ranked fifth in the world, while Ryu is No. 12. Yan is only ranked 99th in the world and Feng is sitting at No. 238.

The South Koreans never led in the match. The Chinese took their first lead with Yan’s birdie at the par-3 seventh. Ryu’s birdie at the par-5 10th made things all square, but then the Chinese team won the next two holes to lead 2-up.

Ryu answered back with consecutive birdies at 13th and 14th to draw even, but Yan made an eagle at the par-5 16th to put China 1-up.

Yan drained a birdie putt at the 18th to preserve the one-hole victory.

These two countries are in Pool A, along with Australia and Taiwan. Taiwan won both of its matches to take the early lead in the pool.

In Pool B, England defeated the United States in both matches. Thailand defeated Japan in one match and halved the other.

After the round-robin pool play, the top two teams from each pool and one wild-card nation will advance to the singles play. The total points won from pool and singles play will determine the champion.

A win is worth two points and a halve goes for a point.

South Korea finished third in the inaugural International Crown in 2014, with Spain taking the title.