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MY FINAL OBSERVATIONS:

Congratulations Team Korea on winning the UL International Crown.! The truth is that a team of top Korean women golfers may just be unbeatable; more so than any other country -- perhaps in the world, I was in Incheon for the UL Crown and watched excellent golf. But... the TOTAL Rolex Rankings of Pool A Korea's 4 players was the low total at 42. The total of the USA Team"s four players heading up Pool B (the second ranked team ) was 55. Beyond that -- all 6 teams had significantly higher Rolex Ranking totals. That said, golfers have good days and bad days. But Korean children are raised not only to achieve, but to achieve under competitive pressure. And that's what they did at the UL International Crown. 0Korea did not wint the 2014 Crown (Spain won) and Korea did not win the 2016 Crown which went to the USA, but Korea has figured out how to be a "team" which was clearly evident in their post-victory interview in the photo above.)

A new movie recently released at the Busan Korean film festival, "Dear My Genius " explores the pressure on Korean children to succeed.. For one of many reviews see http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/10/07/dear-my-genius-documents-south-koreas-obsession-with-education.html

Although the movie explores academic success, American scholar and friend, Dr. Patricia Donnelly, has studied the pressure on Korean children (those who show skill at young ages) to succeed in sports -- like golf -- as well. That parenting style wins prizes and Congratulations are in order. But there is a price to be paid.which the movie reviews explore.




My observations on the 2018 LPGA UL International Crown....

1) The format works! Pool A, Pool B and then 5th team is the Wildcard. This is the third season of the tournament.. so let's stick with it is my advice. ...
(2) The scoring is probably confusing to most recreational women golfers who do not play match play -- the graphics should be better .
(3) Golf club professionals (mostly men!!!) should introduce match play in more of the weekly tournaments rather than saving it for end-of-season championships which more women are avoiding. (there are many ways to deal with the issue -- a "consolation" tournament is one easy way to produce a version of the "Wildcard" winner. It would not be hard to create a "Crown" format for women at golf clubs. .

MOST IMPORTANT.. READ ON...

4) BIG ISSUE: It is not hard to figure out why Korea does so well in competitive women's golf. In Monday October 8 "The Korea Herald" in an article on page 4 of the National Section, Korean Joongang Daily [English language Newspaper] reviewing a new movie "Dear My Genius" [easy to search on the internet] "turns the camera on her own family to document South Korea's obsession with education and the severe toll it takes on the children..." My friend, Dr. Patricia Donnelly wrote a serious academic study of this also. If a Korean child shows talent in golf (or other subjects), the Korean family culture demands (or at least strongly encourages) rigorous study, which may take a toll on the child's emotional stability. (Korea has one of the highest suicide rates and teen depression.)
Speaking as a US parent of three children, I think American parents accept less dedication of one subject and favor a more "well-rounded" and hopefully happy child. That is not to say that the 4 Korean women who won the UL Crown appeared over-stressed or unstable in their post-victory press conference. They seemed to have it all: Great talent and perspective on competitions. I think it's appropriate to congratulate the Korean parents of those 4 winners who appear to have manage the stress and still experience the pure joy of victory.

.




THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN BEGINS THURSDAY OCTOBER 4. -- SCROLL THS PAGE TO LEARN MORE...

AND THE WINNER IS: THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

2:30 pm in Incheon Korea and the 10 final single matches are still close. NOW AT 4:15 -- ALTHOUGH TWO MORE MATCHES TO COME IN, ...

THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA WILL WIN THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN AND THE TITLE OF THE LEADING GOLFING NATION IN THE WORLD.

Sunday, October 7:  It is a beautiful day in Incheon -- sunny and little wind -- it is estimated that 75,000 people attended this tournament. Four of the top 10 female players on the Rolex Rankings are from Korea (Inbee Park did not play in the UL Crown). The family culture of hard work and the financial support available to young talented golfers is a major factor in the growth of outstanding female golfers.Congratulations to the Republic of Korea.



SUNDAY:  THE FINAL DAY OF SINGLES:  (because of the storm on Saturday, some Saturday matches were played Sunday morning before the final round of single matches began:

THE SINGLES MATCHES WILL NOW DETERMINE WHO EARNS THE CROWN. Each country comes into the singles matches with the points earned in four-ball matches.


Each country will play one singles match against every other country. Pairings will be determined by a semi-blind draw. Here are the singles matches to be played. Each team has determined who will play each match (not knowing who the opponent team selected) -- hope we learn more about the process in the post tournament interviews so stay tuned: (follow leaderboard http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard

10:45 -- Hedwall (SWE) vs Santiwiwahanaphong (THA)
10:55 -- Hull (ENG) vs Phatlum (THA)
11:05 -- Shadoff (ENG) vs. Lindberg (SWE)
11:15 -- Wie (USA) vs. Moriya Jutanugarn (THA)
11:25 -- Sung Hyun Park (KOR) vs. Ariya Jutanugarn (THA)
11:35 -- J.Korda (USA) vs. Sagstrom (SWE)
11:45 -- In Gee Chun (KOR) vs Nordqvist (SWE)
11:55 -- Kerr (USA) vs Hall (ENG)
12:05 -- In-Kyung Kim (KOR) vs. Law (ENG)
12:15 -- So Yeon Ryu vs Lexi Thompson (USA




Thursday:  I AM IN THE MEDIA ROOM AND WILL TRY TO PROVIDE ALL THE INFOMATION NEEDED TO ENJOY THIS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION AMONG THE BEST GOLFERS ON THE LPGA TOUR.  The first three days:  Thursday, Friday and Saturday are Four-ball team matches and Sunday are singles matches. 

[note:  because of bad weather (edges of a Typhoon heading towards Japan) -- the second day Friday matches began early with the hopes of getting the Saturday matches in also... but the weather did not cooperate.  UPDATE:  There were no matches played on Saturday.  On Sunday, the teams in Pool A and Pool B will begin very early and play their third round of four-ball matches.

After third round complete on Sunday, the two winning countries in Pool A and the two  winning countries in Pool B will be joined by the country in third place (called the "wild card country" -- but really not a great name -- it's just the country in third place (country with the best score in third place) which was not known until ALL of the three day matches were played.  

On Sunday -- the final round -- all 5 countries will play singles matches (there is a formula to determine who plays who).  And the winner wins the UL Crown.  If there is a tie, there is a procedure forhow the tie is broken.



At the end of the "delayed" third round on Sunday morning, the singles matches will begin.  There is  formula for that also.  I will publish the singles teams on Sunday.

Below is a link to my favorite view of the standings after the 2nd round. 

http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard


UL CROWN -- INCHEON, KOREA -- October 4-7, 2018. The 8 countries have been divided into Pool A Teams and Pool B Teams. Each country in each Pool wil play 3 matches (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)against the other country in their Pool. The format is "four-ball" -- two players vs two players each playing their own ball and counting score of player with best score on each hole.

On Sunday, The winning country of Pool A will play the winning country of Pool B. AND... a third Wild-Card team.

POOL A TEAMS:

REPUBLIC OF KOREA – Sung-hyun Park, So-yeon Ryu, 
In-Kyung Kim, In-gee Chun;
ENGLAND – Charle Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law;
AUSTRALIA – Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sara Jane Smith, Su Ho;
CHINESE TAIPEI– Theresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung;
______________________________________________

POOL B TEAMS

UNITED STATES: -- Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, 
Criste Kerr, Michelle Wie
JAPAN– Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Mamiko HigaMisuzu Narita, 
THAILAND – Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornalong Phatlum, , Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong
SWEDEN – Anna Nordquist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrm, Caroline HedwallULHoHO




THURSDAY MORNING MATCHES:  (each country will have 2 matches  (morning and afternoon) -- but not until this morning were the players announced who would play in each match)   

A GOOD PLACE TO SEE RESULTS IS ON THE LPGA WEBSITE AT http://www.ulcrown.com/leaderboard

ANOTER GOOD SITE TO CHECK FOR SCORING IS THE GOLF CHANNEL

https://www.golfchannel.com/article/golf-central-blog/ul-international-crown-rd-2-standings-match-recaps/




UL CROWN 2018 -- October 4-7, Incheon Korea -- see //www.ulcrown.com/

Eight teams of 4 golfers from 8 different countries will compete to win the Crown.  The UL Crown is held in alternative years of the Solheim Cup.  The 2016 UL Crown was won by the US Team at the Merit Club outside Chicago.  The innaugural UL Crown tournament  in 2014 in Maryland USA was won by Spain.  The UL Crown is really new -- as tournament formats go.   

For the first time in 2018, the event will be held outside the US in Incheon, Korea (very near Seoul, Korea).  Incheon and it's Songdo District will host this event.  [In 2015, the PGA President's Cup was held at the same Jack Nichlaus course with great reviews.]

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS -- PLEASE GO TO MY FACEBOOK AND ADD A COMMENT OR EMAIL ME DIRECTLY AT nancyberkleygolf@gmail.com

Below is photo of the Jack Nicklaus Course in the Songdo District of Incheon, Korea -- a development referred to as a "smart city".    In the background is a very famous bridge that connects the District to the city of Incheon.  More about the course and the bridge will follow!

Songdo District

see //www.ulcrown.com/ on lpga website 

I will be in Incheon, Korea for this tournament.  Posting on my Facebook at //www.facebook.com/nancy.berkley.98  [or click Facebook icon at top of HOME PAGE]


ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT

One of the most interesting features of this tournament is that there is no designated captain for each 4-person teams.  The format is "four-ball" person team -- two players play from a country each plays her own ball and the best score of each player counts for the team score.  Will be writing more about the format -- it's a great format because one player can choose a "risky" shot if her partner is in a good place.

The eight teams are divided into "Pools" 

POOL A TEAMS:

REPUBLIC OF KOREA – Park Sung-hyun, Ryu So-yeon, In-Kyung Kim, Chun In-gee 
ENGLAND – Charle Hull, Ceorgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law
AUSTRALIA – Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sara Jane Smith, Su Hyun Ho
CHINESE TAIPEI– Theresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Phoebe Yao, Candie Kung
______________________________________________

POOL B TEAMS

UNITED STATES: -- Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, 
Criste Kerr, Michelle Wie
JAPAN– Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Waranabe, 
Mamiko Higa
THAILAND – Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornalong Phatlum, , Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong
SWEDEN – Anna Nordquist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrm, Caroline Hedwall


SPECIAL UL CROWN TOURNAMENT COMING to KOREA:

See:
//www.ulcrown.com/tournament-information

I will be in Incheon writing about the format, the players, the scores, the Songdo "smart city" section of Incheon, Korea and the Nicklaus course where UL Crown will be played.

THE FORMAT: (the eight teams have been divided into two Pools... Pool A and Pool B.

Each country will play two four-ball matches against each of the three countries in their Pool.  Winning teams will receive two points for victory, 1 point for a tie and zero for a loss.  Points will carry over to Sunday.

At the conclusion of the three days of four-ball competition, the two teams in each Pool with the most points (two teams  in Pool A and two teams in Pool B) and one wild-card team will advance to Sunday Singles.   The "Wild Card Team" will be determined by having the Saturday 3rd place teams in Pool A and Pool B compete in a "sudden death" playoff.  The Wild Card Team will compete in singles matches on Sunday.




THE "BEST "WOMEN GOLFER" COUNTRY WILL TAKE HOME THE CROWN .

What is the "Four-ball" format? [hint: four balls in play -- two players vs two players -- each plays out the hole with her own ball -- best score of the partnership is used for the "team" score. [a player may be in such trouble that she picks up ball and allows her partner to play for their team score]

At the conclusion of the three days of four-ball competition, the two teams with the most points from each pool and one wild-card team will advance to Sunday Singles. And a "Wild Card" team wll be chosen to compete in the final round -- singles format.  

In the event of a tie between teams tied for first or tied for second in each pool, a pre-determined formula will be used to break the tie.

(Who will decide who plays -- in what order -- no official captain to make decision -- will the player who has played the best in previous three days go out first?  [this has some similarity to the final day of the Solheim Cup]

Only LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan could have put this together! Learn more at //www.ulcrown.com/


POOL A TEAMS:

SOUTH KOREA – Pool A: Park Sung-hyun, Ryu So-yeon, In-Kyung Kim, Chun In-gee 


ENGLAND – Pool A: Charle Hull, Ceorgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law


AUSTRALIA – Pool A: Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sara Jane Smith, Su Hyun Ho


CHINESE TAIPEI– Pool A: Theresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Phoebe Yao, Candie Kung

POOL B TEAMS

United States: -Pool B: Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Criste Kerr, Michelle Wie


JAPAN– Pool B: Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Waranabe, Mamiko Higa


THAILAND – Pool B: Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornalong Phatlum,  Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong


SWEDEN – Pool B: Anna Nordquist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrm, Caroline Hedwall



UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN 2018 TEAMS: The eight teams of the country's top 4 golfers (based on Rolex Rankings) have been divided into two "pools" Pool A and Pool B. (the way competitive brackets are done for club championships and other sports). Three days (Oct 4,5,6 will be match-play "foursomes" (two players from each country each play out their own ball on every hole --counting he "best ball" on each hole. The two-some with the best total score after 18 holes wins one point for her country. Final round on Sunday October 7) will be individual matches with a "wild-card" competitor and points for winners. The country with the most points wins the 2018 UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN. (the Crown is really beautiful.. Tiffany design)..

THE REAL QUESTION... Who will decide the partnership teams? Who will decide who plays in what order in the singles matches. THERE IS NO DESIGNATED CAPTAIN. HOW DO YOU THINK DECISIONS "SHOULD" OR "WILL" BE MADE AMONG THE FOUR WOMEN REPRESENTING EACH COUNTRY?

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN TOURNAMENT?  October 4-7 in Incheon, Korea --about an hour west from Seoul.  The UL Crown is played in alternate years of the Solheim Cup.  The tournament was innaugurated (invented is a better term) in Maryland US in 2014 -- played again in the US in 2016 -- but now will be held about an hour west of Seoul in the Songdo development -- a unique hi-tech-environmental development -- think "city of the future".  Jack Nicklaus was honored to build the golf course in the Songdo development, which is geographically within the city of Incheon. 

But not only the location draws me to the tournament -- it's the format.  Eight contries with 4 members each compete in 3 days of Fourball format (sometimes referred to as "Betterball")and then singles match play the last day. (Fourball format: two players from a team each play their own ball with the lowest score of the twosome counting for their team score on that hole.  The team with the lowest cummulative score for 18 holes wins those matches.  The final day is match play singles. The eight countries participating are: Korea, USA, England, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Sweden.

To read more see //www.ulcrown.com/tournament-information/format. 

What is so interesting about the format is how each of the four-person teams organizes itself to make the pairings and then the singles matches.  There is intentionally no designated captain.  So think about how this will work?  Let's take another situationa:  3 friends and I decide to go out for lunch; where to go; two like a light lunch -- one is a vegan -- and one wants a hamburger?  How do we decide? 

Taking decision-making back to the UL Crown.... perhaps a decision-making captain will be selected among the 4 players; perhaps one player is the best "communicator" in the group.. maybe the oldest?  maybe the best player? . I can imagine many different approaches.  What is most important about the UL Crown teams is that in the absence of a captain "each member is mutually accountable" for the team's results... should not be able to lay blame on any team member.   I am working with a psycholgist, Dr. Patricia Donnelly, to explore the options and styles of team decisions in the UL Crown.  DID I TELL YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE THIS TOURNAMENT?