Date: July 25, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Aussies falter as Americans don Crown

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Australia bowed out of the UL International Crown this morning, then watched on as the American team came from the clouds to win it all.

The Americans – Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller and Cristie Kerr – had been last in their group before the third morning of fourball competition, but blasted past Japan and then won three of four singles matches to edge out Korea at Chicago’s Merit Club.

Australia finished last of the eight countries with just 1.5 wins of a possible six in fourball play, with the team of Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Rebecca Artis collectively battling to make the crucial putts.

“We had a lot of fun playing, but it’s disappointing not to play the final day,” Webb said.

“I felt like we played well enough, but just didn’t make enough putts and when it comes to that format, that’s what you’ve got to do.

“But it was great fun to wear Australian colours and just be around Aussies for the week.”

Australia had to beat the top-seeded Koreans in their third and final pool match to advance, but despite a late rally, the team of Lee an Oh fell 1-down to In Gee Chun and Amy Yang. Webb and Artis fell 3&2 to Sei Young Kim and the in-form So Yeon Ryu.

England had been the form team of the qualifiers and held that advantage moving into the final-round singles matches.

But some outstanding long-range putting from Kerr, in particular, was good enough for the hosts to charge through the pack.

After Lewis and Piller had thumped Japan’s Mika Miyazato and Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, respectively, earlier, Ryu kept the heat on the Americans by toppling Thompson 2&1.

But when Mel Reid couldn’t make her birdie try from the edge of the 16th green, Kerr eliminated all others from contention with her 3&2 triumph over the Englishwoman.

The 2018 International Crown, the third in the biennial competition, was awarded to the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, Korea, the host club of the 2015 Presidents Cup.