Luncheon creates excitement for 2016 International Crown
NAPERVILLE—Hotel Arista in Naperville, Ill., hosted a luncheon on Friday, Aug. 1, to launch the summer 2016 International Crown Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event, scheduled to take place at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.
LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan spoke about the dynamics of this completely new event.
“We will have four players on each team from the best eight countries in the world,” Whan said. “You can’t have one good golfer. You have to build golfing teams to win the crown. We will announce the countries in December, but the players could change on the way to Rich Harvest Farms in 2016.”
The International Crown will present a global showcase of women’s golf and will occur on every even year. For the second edition of the International Crown at Rich Harvest Farms in 2016, Calamos and Rolex will contribute to the event as ambassador sponsors.
The inaugural International Crown debuted this year at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., the week of July 22-27. According to Whan, the new event is structured in a different format that promotes team effort as the four players on each team rely on each other for advice and support, as there are no coaches or captains.
“There is a nervousness and excitement that comes with playing for a team while the country is watching,” Whan said.
According to Whan, they expected to sell the eight TV rights for the eight countries that were represented in the 2014 International Crown, but they ended up selling 166 rights.
“It was so far beyond our expectations,” Whan said. “It’s very rare to bring a new legacy to a sport. In 2016, we want to give Chicago the Olympics it didn’t get.”
The LPGA would like to inspire younger girls, when they’re watching the International Crown on TV, to be on the team someday, according to Whan.
Anna Nordqvist, a professional women’s golfer, was present at the luncheon on Friday and spoke about her experience as a player on Team Sweden at the first edition of the International Crown in Maryland.
“It was a cool experience,” Nordqvist said. “There was no leader on the team. You listen to what everyone had to say, and everyone feels like a part of the team. We got really close to each other and everyone feels important.”
Rich Harvest Farms is a private, members-only club consistently ranked on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The 18-hold course has been described as a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture. It hosted the LPGA’s Solheim Cup event in 2009.