THE INTERNATIONAL CROWN AT CAVES VALLEY

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By: Rory Spears Lead Writer and Assistant Editor on location at the Inaugural LPGA International Crown.

REPORTING FROM OWINGS MILL MD.

DAY 2 of the International Crown, and because of the format and the point system to play on the final day (Sunday). Friday became a moving day for a few countries including the USA.

DSC02854 Crown trophy on 18 green pic 5 DS

International Crown Trophy designed by Tiffany’s, on the 18th green at Caves Valley Country Club.                                                                       

Team USA had to make a move on day 2 of the International Crown, or the chances of them playing on Sunday were not good. So they did.

Christie Kerr and Lexi Thompson set the tone by going out and winning their match by a 3 & 2 score over Spains Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo.

After a slow start Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer took over their match with Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz building a 3 up lead with holes to play. Shortly after that the match was still going on 18. But poor approach shots from the fairway after both Creamer and Lewis hit the green, left team Spain in trouble, After neither Spanish player made 3, Creamer rolled her putt up to inside of 1 foot. It was conceded for the win.

The chants of USA could be heard through out the hills of Caves Valley.

DSC02867 gallery on 11 with Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis DS

The gallery on 11 watches Team USA prepare to take a 3 Up lead on a birdie by Paula Creamer.

The galleries were much bigger on Friday than Thursday. It’s expected they will grow even more on the weekend, especially with Team USA making a move.

What turned things around for the Americans. A team bonding relaxing dinner at what Paula Creamer is calling a secret restaurant that will not be named until the tournament is over. The american team feels anyone can play with anyone, but they did switch pairings heading into day two and things did click.

The matches will start on Saturday at 11:55 Am CST. The final two matches will be Team USA vs Thailand, and the Americans will keep the same pairing that worked on Friday.

DSC02871 TEAM USA pic 2 day 2 DS

Stacy Lewis answers a question in the Team USA media session after a sweep of Spain.

Saturday is cut down day as Sunday’s final round will only include five countries. The top two teams from Pool A and Pool B. One wild card team will play on Sunday as well. three countries will sit out on Sunday. None of the players want to get eliminated on Saturday and a playoff will happen on Saturday to see who gets into Sunday. Japan rallied in one match from 6 down with 7 holes to play to earn a half vs the stunned Australians. Such is the atmosphere of the International Crown.

Standings headed to Saturday are Pool A Thailand 5 points, USA and Chinese Taipei 4 points, Spain with 3 points, Pool B Japan 6 points, Korea with 4 points, Sweden and Australia with 3 points.

Matches on Saturday Spain vs Chinese Taipei, Sweden vs Australia, Korea vs Japan.  The Golf Channel will have live coverage, a full wrap up here after play.

Click below to hear Fridays Team USA Press conference.

Comments from Christie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.