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7th April, 2014

LPGA announces 2014 International Crown Ambassador sponsors

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has announced that Hana Financial Group, PANDORA Jewelry and Rolex will participate as Ambassador Sponsors for the inaugural LPGA International Crown, to be played July 24-27, 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, MD.

The International Crown is the first-of-its-kind biennial, team match play competition featuring the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, based on the combined Rolex World Ranking of the top four players from each country.

The countries that have qualified to compete in 2014 include Australia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United States and Thailand. The player field has been finalized and includes several former number one players in the world.

"The LPGA is pleased to announce the support of our Ambassador Sponsors for the inaugural International Crown Tournament", said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. "Hana Financial Group, PANDORA Jewelry and Rolex are tremendous global brands that we are proud to have associated with our new marquee global event in women’s professional golf".

These three companies enjoy a history with the LPGA and, says the association, have sought to partner on the International Crown because of the unique team match play format and knowing the passion that the players will exhibit in representing their country.

Hana Financial Group has been the title sponsor of the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in Korea for the last five years and sponsors several LPGA players, including Hee Young Park, Vicky Hurst and International Crown participants I.K. Kim and So Yeon Ryu.

"We are very excited to be a part of the LPGA's inaugural International Crown event, representing Team Korea with two players, So Yeon Ryu and I.K.Kim, sponsored by our company", said Mr. Jung-Tai Kim, CEO of Hana Financial Group. "We will continue to support women's golf with the LPGA KEB-Hana Bank Championship in Korea, which has developed into one of the top tournaments on the LPGA Tour, and partner on other worldwide opportunities such as the International Crown".

PANDORA is new to the LPGA family and is partnering this year with players Brittany Lincicome, Lizette Salas and Gerina Pillar as brand ambassadors.

"PANDORA is thrilled to be sponsoring the 2014 International Crown", said Nikolette Gayk, Marketing Manager for PANDORA Jewelry. "To have the opportunity to be involved from the very beginning of a new venture that recognizes and celebrates women globally - their abilities, capabilities, experiences and successes - is an honor and extremely exciting and also fits so perfectly with what PANDORA has been focused on for more than thirty years - celebrating women".

Rolex, the Official Timepiece of the LPGA, has partnered with the association for the last thirty-four years. Rolex honors the best of the best each year on the LPGA through the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award and the Rolex First-Time Winner award. Since 2006, Rolex also has titled the Rolex Rankings, the first-ever comprehensive world rankings system for women's golf and since 2009 as a Global Partner of the Solheim Cup.

"We are extremely pleased that Rolex is extending its global support to partner with the exciting launch of The International Crown", said Whan.

At the recent press conference, the three Ambassador partners helped unveil the custom International Crown trophy, which was designed and hand crafted by Tiffany & Co. The trophy weighs twenty pounds and stands twenty-three inches tall. One hundred and sixty-five hours of labor went into crafting the trophy, including silversmith soldering, hand bending and polishing the trophy into its finished pristine product.

During the 18th green awards ceremony at the International Crown, the four players from the winning country will be presented with their own 'Crowns', which will be exact replicas of the one displayed as part of the tournament trophy.


Picture: players from each of the eight competing countries pose with the trophy Karrie Webb, Beatriz Recari, Na Yeon Choi, Candie Kung, Moriya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Pernilla Linberg and Ay Miyazato on stage during the media conference to announce the inaugural International Crown event to be played at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland in July 2014 as a preview for the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Photo Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images






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