This year’s 11th Solheim Cup competition is being held here in the U.S. at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Ill. The U.S. leads the overall competition with a record of 7 – 3 with two of those victories coming on European soil, including last year. The U.S. has won the last two competitions. All of Europe’s victories came on their home turf and they are desperately looking for a victory to help even this competition. They would like it no more then to happen here in the U.S. this year.
Players earn their way onto their respective teams by earning points throughout the two-year period between competitions. In addition, each team captain gets to choose two additional players, a.k.a. “captain’s picks”. In all, there are 12 players on each team along with a captain and two assistant captains that do not play.
The youthful U.S. team looks very strong this year, captained by Beth Daniel and including top world ranked golfers Christie Kerr (3), Paula Creamer (4) and Angela Stanford (9). Daniel’s captain’s picks were Julie Inkster, a 49-year-old Solheim veteran who brings experience and leadership to the team and Nicole Castrale. Michele Wie qualified for the team, she brings youth and talent and should add excitement. Natalie Gulbis brings noticeable talent, 21-year-old Morgan Pressel rounds out a solid team which also includes the Brittanys (Lang and Lincicome)
Team Euro is headed by Alison Nichols who chose Anna Nordqvist and Janice Moody as her picks. Top European players are Suzann Peterson (6) of Norway and Catriona Matthew (14). Former #1 ranked player Annika Sorenstam has left a huge hole on this team with her retirement and veteran players such as Laura Davies and Helen Alfredsson will need to play well to make up for her absence.
The format of this team event is quite interesting, with 2 rounds of team matches (2 players per team), happening on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will feature 12 matches of one-on-one play. Each match is worth one point, with 28 total points available in the competition. The European team needs to accumulate 14 ½ points to win the Cup. Since the U.S. currently owns the Cup, they need only 14 to retain it.
You can catch live coverage of the event all weekend on the Golf Channel, enjoy the exciting competition.
Written by Coach Dave V