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Golf - South Korea clinch International Crown title on home soil

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(Reuters) – Kim In-kyung and Chun In-gee won their singles matches on Sunday as hosts South Korea claimed the LPGA’s International Crown team title with a total of 15 points, finishing ahead of the United States who had 11.

Kim scored a two-up win over England’s Bronte Law to seal the victory after Chun had beaten Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist on a sunny day at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon.

Park Sung-hyun lost to Thai Ariya Jutanugarn while Ryu So-yeon halved with American Lexi Thompson in the last match but those results did not dampen the spirits of the home crowd.

“I wanted all of us to have fun today because there were so many fans out here that came from practice round to support us, and I just had to keep telling myself, focus, focus every shot because I couldn’t focus,” Kim said.

“But I really had a blast, and thanks for everyone to give us such a great match.”

Ryu said the victory was special considering South Korea’s lack of experience in team competitions despite having a number of strong players.

“We don’t get a lot of exposure to this type of event, so there was a lot of pressure. Given that, today as a Korean, I’m proud to have earned the crown and to earn that official title when the game was hosted in Korea.”

The U.S. began poorly as Michelle Wie lost 2&1 to Thai Moriya Jutanugarn. Jessica Korda then beat Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom but Cristie Kerr fell to England’s Georgia Hall as their hopes of retaining their title faded.

Earlier on Sunday, Thailand won a playoff against Japan and Australia to earn the chance to compete in the singles event.

South Korea had topped Pool A ahead of England after the third-round of four-ball matches — which were completed on Sunday after Tropical Storm Kong-Rey prevented any play on Saturday. The U.S. finished in front of Sweden in Pool B.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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