(Cheshire, England and Daytona Beach, Fla., USA – October 7, 2004) – The Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today the qualifying criteria for the inaugural Women’s World Cup of Golf to be played at The Links, Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in George, South Africa, from Feb. 11-13, 2005.
The $1million event, which will become the first-ever truly worldwide team competition co-sanctioned by both Tours, will include 20 international teams of two players playing over three days.
The event will consist of a three-day, 54-hole competition with a different format on each day: 18 holes of foursomes; 18 holes of four-ball; and 18 holes of stroke-play. The winners will be determined by combining each team’s scores from all three days.
The Tours will announce the qualifying countries after the conclusion of this week’s Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at Mount Vintage in North Augusta, South Carolina.
The field for the 2005 Women’s World Cup of Golf will be based on the following criteria:
1) In order for a country to qualify to be represented, the country must be one of the top 10 countries from each of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET) (collectively the “Tours”) final money list or order of merit as applicable in order of individual standing. The country eligibility will be based on the 2004 final official order of merit on the LET and after the conclusion of the last domestic full field event on the LPGA. If a country is eligible from both Tours, the Tours may at their discretion invite additional teams into the competition. No country shall be represented by more than one (1) team.
2) The team for each country to be represented will be selected by the leading women’s professional golf tour in that country or, if no such appropriate tour exists, by the recognized governing body of golf in the country (“selection committee”). The leading women’s professional golf tour of an eligible country may at their sole discretion delegate the team selection to another recognised governing body of golf in the country subject always to final approval by that tour. For each team, the highest-ranked player from one of the above tours’ final money list or order of merit as applicable must be selected. The selection committee for that country will determine the criteria for the second playing spot. Amateurs may be selected.
3) Each country to be represented will field a team of two players. The host country and, at the discretion of the Tours additional countries, may field a team even if they do not meet the criteria established in paragraph 1 provided that in the opinion of the Tours such country can provide two (2) national players of sufficient competitive status to form a representative team
4) An individual may represent their country if they carry the passport of that country or if they were born in that country. In the event an individual has dual citizenship, she may elect at the time of qualifying which country she will represent; once a player has made such election, this cannot be changed in relation to the tournament in future years unless and until such time that dual citizenship status is removed.
5) If a country is represented on both top-10 lists, the selection committee for that country will determine who will comprise the team for that country. However, the selection committee for that country must choose the highest-ranked player from at least one of the Tours.
6) If after going through the above selection process there are less than 20 teams eligible for the event (by reason of eligible players electing not to play or otherwise), the Tours at their discretion (as provided in paragraph 3) may invite additional teams such that the event may have up to 20 teams.
7) The final player selections for each team will be determined by December 1, 2004, for the 2005 WWCG. Speaking from LET Headquarters in Cheshire, Ian Randell, chief executive of the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour said:
“We are delighted to extend our relationship with the LPGA to develop the first co-sanctioned Women’s World Cup of Golf and this highlights that the growth and appetite for women’s professional golf is bigger than ever.
“I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work input by the organisers Tania Fourie and Lesley Copeman in South Africa for making this groundbreaking event possible and this can only further the development of women’s golf in the region.
“This Women’s World Cup of Golf is sure to attract worldwide interest and offers the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents of the international memberships which both the LET and the LPGA enjoy.
“Fancourt Hotel and Golf Resort is a world class location for an event of this stature having hosted The President’s Cup last season and as you would expect, offers the world’s best players a fantastic setting and an exceptional challenge.”
LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw added:
“We very much look forward to the Women’s World Cup of Golf in South Africa in February.
“Not only will this mark the first time for the LPGA to compete in South Africa and for the LPGA and LET to co-sanction a global team competition, but it also is a wonderful extension of the initiatives started at the World Congress of Women’s Golf earlier this year.
“With the qualifying criteria, 20 countries and leading golf associations from around the world will now have the opportunity to participate in an international team event featuring the best in women’s professional golf. This demonstrates the ongoing success and growth of women’s golf on the world stage.”