Has it really been two years since I was in Germany to witness the spectacular USA come back at the final day singles at the Solheim Cup? Personally, I love the Solheim Cup and it is one of my favourite competitions in the world of golf. Now, the Solheim Cup heads to Des Moines in Iowa and there is already plenty to talk about.
The European team, captained by Annika Sorenstam, will be looking to prise the Cup back from the Americans. The team is a nice mix of youth and experience containing four rookies. It would all too easy to dismiss those rookies but do so at your peril. Georgia Hall currently leads the LET Order of Merit and comes into this fresh from her T-3 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. This kid is showing that she can more than handle the pressure. Florentyna Parker is also having a great season and has one tour victory under her belt so far. Not too shabby for two rookies now is it?
The two rookies that Sorenstam has enlisted as her picks could be dark horses in Iowa. Emily Kristine Pedersen has proved her worth among golf’s elite with a T-13 at the Ladies Scottish Open that was co-sanctioned with the LPGA. Madelene Sagstrom will bring her experience of the LPGA feeder tour, the Symetra Tour, with her. Three victories on that tour and a world ranking of 69 shows that she is ready to make her name.
Sorenstam has also opted for experience with her picks in the form of Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Masson. Both have hit form at the right time with strong showings at the Ricoh Women’s British Open but both also have plenty of experience at the Solheim Cup. These two could pick up some valuable points for the team.
Melissa Reid is playing in the LPGA and is a quality match-play player. Her record at the Solheim Cup speaks for itself. She brings with her an impressive record of Played 8, Won 4, Lost 3, Halved 1. Now she is a much stronger player with her experience on the LPGA. She is definitely one to watch at this year’s Solheim Cup.
Charley Hull found fame at the 2013 Solheim Cup that showed that rookies should never be underestimated. Hull is another player whose record at this event shows that she thrives on it. With a 75% win rate at the Solheim Cup, Hull is a player the Americans will already be wary of.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff comes into this following her second place at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. She may have only experienced the Solheim Cup once before but let’s not forget that she was part of the winning team back in Colorado in 2013. She won two and lost one back then but will enter this year’s event in red hot form.
Then there is Suzann Pettersen, Carlota Ciganda and Karine Icher. This is the core of the team in terms of experience. Ciganda makes the team for the third event running and Icher will make her fourth appearance. However, when it comes to experience then you simply have to look towards Suzann Pettersen. Eight times she has represented Europe at the Solheim Cup and on three occasions she has lifted the trophy.
There will be those who believe that the USA will comfortable win on home soil. However, this European team might just surprise you. Remember Colorado anyone? The Solheim Cup is becoming a tighter event. The days when the USA swept Europe away each time have now gone. This will be good, this will be close. I’ve already got my popcorn and beers ready, have you?