Northern Suburban gem also site of 2000 U.S. Women’s Open

Kraig Kann, LPGA Chief Communications Officer, kraig.kann@lpga.com
Kelly Schultz, LPGA Director of Media Communications, kelly.schultz@lpga.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 24, 2015) – The 2016 UL International Crown will be held at the Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today. The biennial team match-play event is slated to take place July 21-24.

Opened in 1992, the Merit Club has been ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the United States by both Golfweek and Golf Magazine. The suburban Chicago venue also has a major championship pedigree. It hosted the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA, which was won by LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb.

“We were flattered by the many suitors with championship résumés who came forward with the hopes of providing the stage for this event,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “The Merit Club has wonderful history and prestige and will offer a spectacular backdrop to see which country will take home the Crown. We think of the UL International
Crown as an event that’s growing in global significance and making a major impact on women’s golf. The Merit Club helps us take that next step in many ways and we’re excited to partner together.”

“Everyone here at the Merit Club is excited for this opportunity,” said Donald W. Pieper, General Manager/Director of Golf at the Merit Club. “The U.S. Women’s Open was such a big success in 2000 and we can’t wait to showcase the world’s best golfers as they compete for their country to see who will take home the Crown.”

Based on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, the eight countries that will compete in the second playing of the UL International Crown will be determined at the conclusion of the 2016 ANA Inspiration in April. At the end of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June, the four highest ranked players from each of the qualifying countries will make
up their respective teams for the matches taking place July 21-24.

“We are looking forward to hosting the 2016 UL International Crown at the Merit Club,” said UL CEO Keith Williams.

“Our goal as title sponsor is to keep growing the stature of this one-of-a-kind international event and the Merit Club is a prestigious and beautiful golf course right in our backyard. We are interested in seeing which country will reign in 2016.”

About the Merit Club
Located in Gurnee, Illinois about 45 miles north of Chicago, the Merit Club was built in 1992 solely for golf and those who enjoy the game. The course envelops 320 acres and is preserved as open space for perpetuity by a conservation easement. Native oak savannahs, prairies and wetlands provide beauty at every turn. The par-72 test is designed to challenge players of all skill levels. It was the site of the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open won by Karrie Webb.

About the UL International Crown
The UL 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 qualified to compete in 2014 include Australia, Chinese Taipei, Japan,
The Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United States and Thailand. Spain was crowned the event’s first champion as the team of Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Belen Mozo and Carlota Ciganda bested seven of the other top golf nations in the world en route to the title.

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