Congratulations to the LPGA Tour and their amazing commissioner Michael Whan.
Putting together “The LPGA Inaugural International Crown Tournament” that turned out to be such a success must have been a task of monumental size. Working with countries all around the world, bringing in sponsors worldwide, creating the format for the four day event along with all the other planning wouldn’t have been a task for the faint-of-heart. Makes putting together the One-Day-Charity-Fundraiser-Tournaments I used to work on seem like a kindergarten exercise.
And congratulations to the winning Spanish team of:
Carlota Ciganda, and
Their fiery passion and solid play made them worthy champions.
Remarks from the TV Commentators
Throughout the four day event, Judy Rankin and the other TV commentators made mention that because this was the inaugural tournament there would be things learned that would bring about small changes to make the event even better. My perception was that they were initially having a little difficulty totally understanding the format and how it would eventually play out. Commissioner Michael Whan also made comments that suggested he was extremely pleased with the tournament format but was open to suggestions. Wish I had never heard those comments because it got my tournament-brain going. I make no claim that the changes I’ve thought about are the right ones. That doesn’t really matter anyway because no one in the LPGA will ever read this. I think I’ve written this blog for myself just to get my ideas onto paper and stop them turning over inside my head.
The tournament field was made up of teams from the strongest countries worldwide in ladies professional golf. Although the Australian team did include Minjee Lee the worlds #1 ranked amateur. Each team had four players who had been selected on their world ranking. The teams in order of world ranking came from:
- Republic of Korea
- Chinese Taipei
The teams were divided into two pools. The U.S.A, Japan, Spain and Australia made up “Pool A”. In “Pool B” were Korea, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei.
The Three Match-Play Qualifying Days
Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the three days that every team played “match-play” against the other teams in its pool. The scoring, 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and no points for a loss. The two top teams in each pool qualifying for the Sunday final.
Sunday saw five teams ready to play because a “wild-card” team was selected in a play-off between Korea and the U.S.A. Korea won the right to join the qualifying four. Final day Sunday saw ten matches of individual match-play when the twenty players were matched up. I’m not sure how that pairing was worked out. Complicated for my old brain. Sunday the TV commentators were doing lots of calculations and what-ifs, trying to predict a winner. Anyway it was all very exciting and great TV entertainment.
My 6-Point Suggest System
So here are my thoughts on how the format could be changed in a way that would be simpler to follow and I believe even more exciting. First in the three days of team match-play a win was worth 2 point and a draw 1 point. To my way of thinking a win should earn 3 points and the draw stay at 1 point. This is the points system that’s been used forever in the Soccer world. The extra win point makes the win all that more important.
Only Four Teams Qualify for the Final
After Saturday’s play the two top teams in each pool qualify for the Sunday final. That should be unchanged. But no “wild-card” team. The four teams that didn’t make it to Sunday know that like any other LPGA tournament, if they didn’t play well enough and “missed-the-cut”, that’s just the way it is.
The Biggest Suggest Change
Now’s here the big change that I believe would be an even more exciting format than the present one.
- Do away with the singles match-play matches.
- Divide the 16 players into four foursomes. By world ranking put the lowest ranked members from each team together. The 2nd ranked players together, the 3rd ranked together and finally the highest ranked together.
- Every player will play stroke-play, counting every shot. It’s not match-play in the true sense but it would seem even more intense, because each player in the foursome will be playing against the other three.
- Each foursome is playing for a total of 6 points. So with four foursomes in the final a total of 24 points are up for grabs.
- I figure there are seven different scenarios. Here are three examples;
- At the end of the round if all the players in a foursome have different scores (for example; 67-69-70-72) the player with the lowest 18-hole score earns 3 of the 6 points. The next player 2 points and the third player 1 point, using up all 6 points. The last play records a zero.
- If it happened that all the players ended up with the same score, they would each earn 1.5 points for their team.
- Here’s another example and a different way of explaining it. If two players finish their rounds with the same low score, let’s say both have 68. The next lowest score is a 70 and the player with the highest score shoots 73. The point distribution would be. The two 68s earn 2.5 point, the 70 earns 1 point, using up all 6 points available. The 73 is shut out.
There are four more scenarios that divide up the 6 points. I’ m not going to list them here as I think the examples above give the general idea.
Hope you found this blog if nothing else, thought provoking. Now that I’ve got my ideas down on paper, perhaps tonight I’ll get a good night’s sleep.