ERegardless of whether they are male or female, America’s best professional golfers are under pressure in upcoming prestigious battles against the best Europeans. While the men will be looking to celebrate their first Ryder Cup away win in thirty years next week in Rome, Team USA’s women will be aiming to prevent that from happening on the course at Finca Cortezín in Andalusia this Friday through Sunday. For the first time in Solheim Cup history, they lost to “Euro” for the third time in a row.
Since the women’s edition of the Ryder Cup was first held in 1990, the balance of power has shifted. Although the Americans largely dominated this prestigious battle in the 1990s and early 21st century, the best European female golfers have long been equal. What’s more: In Gleneagles (Scotland) in 2019, Norwegian Suzanne Petersen won 14.5:13.5 with a birdie on the last hole, but two years ago the European team showed a clear superiority at Inverness Club (Ohio). Victory was already assured when the last five singles were still running. The home team’s defeat was more evident than the final score of 13:15.
Five new players on the US team
“I thought a lot about whether we should win. We lost by one shot at Gleneagles. We lost by two or three shots at Inverness. So it’s not really that far. I think every Solheim Cup in the future will be this close,” said American captain Stacey Lewis.
The 38-year-old Texan, a four-time former world number one who represented the United States, is sending the youngest team to date to the four-man singles (classic foursomes and bestball) on Friday and Saturday and twelve on Sunday. . Eight of the twelve Americans are 26 years old or younger — including five rookies, the first-ever players in what has now become the biggest spectacle in women’s golf.
Newcomers include world number two Lilian Wu (Chevron and Women’s Open Championship) and Alichen Corpus (US Open) who are two big winners this year. Twenty-year-old Rose Zhang also made the team. The Californian led the amateur world rankings for 141 weeks – longer than any other player. She was the first player to win the college championship twice in a row. Soon after turning professional in June this year, he won his debut on the LPGA Tour, a feat last accomplished by a rookie in 1951. That is why there is faith in talent.
On the other hand, the team has one player, 28-year-old Lexi Thompson, who could not qualify because of her form, but only because of her world ranking. After problems with her swing, she is in danger of losing her right to play on the LPGA Tour, the most important tournament where the top European women earn their money.
For the first time since 2009, the Germans were not in the squad
Suzanne Pietersen, who led the European team to victory two years ago, was early hopeful: “I’ve played in ten teams and I don’t think we’ve had nine players in the top 35 in the world rankings. Look at our top eight players, on paper they’ve never been this strong.” France’s Celine Boutier, who is ranked fifth in the world, is also the highest-ranked player.
Another six countries are represented: Sweden (Lynn Grant, Madeleine Sackström, Maja Stark, Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall), England (Charlie Hull, Georgia Hall), Scotland (Jammy Tryburgh), Ireland (Leona Maguire), Spain (Carlotta Siganda) and Denmark (Emily Pedersen). For the first time since 2009, there is no German in the team, although Olivia Cowan of Worms, ranked 85th in the world, is ranked higher than the two “captain’s picks” Hedwall and Pedersen (121st and 122nd). But that will change next year when the fight takes place in Gainesville, Virginia.
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