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Team USA clinches final spot in LPGA Crown semifinals; one veteran Swedish team enjoys a record day and Thailand remains undefeated

Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hewdall remain a force at the Hanwha Lifeplus International Crown. The Swedish duo moved their overall fourball record in the event to 7-1-1 after defeating World No. 1 Nelly Korda and No. 4 Lilia Vu, 1 up.

“We’ve had so much fun together,” said Hedwall, “and I think that shows on the game we have, as well. I’m just proud of everyone.”

Hedwall and Nordqvist now own the record for most appearances together, edging Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson and sisters Moriya Jutanguarn/Ariya Jutanugarn, who both have eight. With an average age of 34, Nordqvist and Hedwall also happen to be the oldest pair at TPC Harding Park.

Anna Nordqvist (L) and Caroline Hedwall (R) of Team Sweden react after a putt on the second green during day three of the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown at TPC Harding Park on May 6, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Sweden topped Pool A with 5 ½ points, finishing tied in their second match against Team USA. Maja Stark, who partnered with Madelene Sagstrom, converted a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole to bring the match back to even with Lexi Thompson and Danielle Kang.

“I kind of liked it because it felt like they got mad,” said Stark of the finish, “and that’s kind of funny. I just really wanted to make that putt. Just being able to perform under pressure, like that is not something that I’ve really felt before because it’s usually been — everything has just been about myself, but now I do it for my team and for Sweden. It’s really nice to be able to come in clutch like that at the end.”

Team USA, winners of this event in 2016, finished second in Pool A to become the fourth team to advance.

Thailand hasn’t lost a match in three days, finishing with six points to lead Pool B. Australia was the second team to advance out of that pool.

“We played well,” said Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand’s perfect record. “We deserve it.”

Defending champions South Korea won their first points of the event on Saturday, taking both matches against Japan.

“I know I feel sad and a little disappointed we can’t show our game anymore tomorrow,” said In Gee Chun, “but I believe our Korean players, they’re all strong.”

China, England, Japan and South Korea failed to advance.

With no captains, teams had 15 minutes to figure out the pairings for Sunday’s semifinals. Each matchup will consist of two singles matches and one foursomes match. The first country to reach two points will win their match.

Team USA takes on the undefeated Thailand, while Sweden faces Australia. When asked how they planned to take on a country that hasn’t dropped a match, Thompson said not to think about their record.

“Just focus on our own games and do what we can,” said Thompson. “Play aggressive golf, but stay within ourselves, focus on our attitudes and our golf. That’s all we can do.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek