Thailand Outclass Australia To Claim International Crown

The four-player team won all three matches against the Australians to cap an outstanding four days

The Thai team with the trophy after their win in the 2023 International Crown
Thailand won their first International Crown after beating Australia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thailand won the Hanwha Lifeplus International Crown for the first time thanks to a dominant display on Sunday afternoon when the four-player team won all three matches against Australia.

The fact either team reached the championship match at TPC Harding Park was a surprise considering their rankings, with Thailand at six and Australia one behind them in the eight-team event.

However, Thailand bettered top seed the US in the morning’s semi-final after Atthaya Thitikul beat Lexi Thompson 3 and 2 to set them on their way. Elsewhere, Patty Tavatanakit beat Lilia Vu, while sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn beat World No.1 Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang in their foursomes match. Meanwhile, the Australians won all three of their semi-final matches against Sweden, who were hampered by the exclusion of Lynn Grant due to her vaccination status.

Thailand had been the outstanding team of the week going into Sunday afternoon, and that continued as Thitikul beat Stephanie Kyraciou after opening up a lead on the back nine to win 4 and 2. 

There was more Thai success in the second singles match when Tavatanakit claimed a 4 and 3 win over JM Eagle LA Championship victor Hannah Green. Finally, the Jutanugarn sisters beat Minjee Lee 4 and 3 helped by winning four straight holes between seven and 10. The pair’s outstanding performance included a chip-in from Ariya on the final hole to kickstart the celebrations.

Afterwards, Ariya stressed that Thailand’s win not have been possible without outstanding team spirit. She said: “I’m always believing in my team, and I still feel that way. To me, it can’t be only me doing hard work, doing a good job. It has to be all of us. I think this week, we put ourselves in a really good position all the time. I think the vibe between us, can’t ask for better.”

Meanwhile, former World No.1 Thitikul explained the team’s relaxed approach to the tournament had served them well. She said: “I mean, I did not really expect that we’re going to going for win that much coming into the week. But I think when I come into this event when we had a practice round with my team, I feel like I had more confidence, we had more good vibes, and I think we just had fun. 

"We really had fun out there, especially in the practice round or tournament round. Like we had so fun. I think it’s good memories for us forever.”

Overall, Thailand lifted the trophy having won 11 of 12 matches, while Ariya claimed the MVP award. In the third-place match, the US beat the Swedes to claim some consolation following their earlier disappointment.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.