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Koreans gear up for 2nd International Crown

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Published : 2016-07-20 10:46
Updated : 2016-07-20 10:46

Four Korean golfers competing in an international match play event this week said they will try to erase disappointing memories.

Korea is the top seed at the second edition of the International Crown, an LPGA's match play competition taking place at Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois, near Chicago.
(Yonhap)

Eight countries are competing with four players apiece. The field of 32 players was determined by the world rankings as of June 13, with the four highest-ranked players representing each nation.

After world No. 3 Park In-bee pulled out of the event citing a thumb injury and her first alternate, Jang Ha-na, also declined to play, Ryu So-yeon was selected to join Kim Sei-young, Chun In-gee and Amy Yang.

Ryu, 26, is the only carryover from the 2014 competition, when South Korea finished third. At the pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday (local time), Ryu recalled how she was "disappointed" to finish third two years ago.

"I'm so excited to get back here and have another opportunity to win the pretty crowns (for champions)," the former LPGA Rookie of the Year said. "I just told (my teammates) about the situation two years ago, what was tough, what was fun. Two years ago, I was the youngest on the team, but I'm not the youngest anymore. It feels a little different."

Yang, a two-time LPGA winner, said making the Korean team for the tournament was "one of my biggest goals this year."

"I'm very excited to be part of Team Korea and also honored and proud," she said. "I'm really looking forward to playing with these girls this week."

Kim, the 2015 LPGA Rookie of the Year and a five-time winner, said she'd heard a lot about the tournament from Ryu, and it couldn't have come a day sooner.

"I've thought a lot about this tournament, and I've waited a long time for this tournament," she said. "Ryu is a very smart player. We're both very aggressive players, and I think we'll make a good team."

Chun, who won the 2015 U.S. Women's Open as a nonmember, said she's representing the country as a pro for the first time, and she'll try to feed off support from fans back home.

"I am sure fans in Korea will take a great interest in this event and will be cheering us on," she said. "Sometimes, it can put pressure on us, but I think it can only make myself and my teammates develop into better players."

Korea will face Australia, Chinese Taipei and China in Pool A. Pool B teams are the United States, Japan, Thailand and England.

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. (Yonhap)