LANCASHIRE, ENGLANDâ€”U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Beth Daniel and European Solheim Cup Captain Alison Nicholas Sunday announced their respective 12-player squads for the 2009 Solheim Cup during a joint press conference at the RICOH Womenâ€™s British Open. At the end of the two-year qualifying process, Paula Creamer and Gwladys Nocera are the leading points earners for the U.S. and European Solheim Cup Teams, respectively.
Based on the top-10 rankings in the U.S. Solheim Cup points standings at the conclusion of the RICOH Womenâ€™s British Open, the 10 players who automatically qualified for the U.S. Team are (listed in order of points ranking): (1) Paula Creamer, (2) Cristie Kerr, (3) Angela Stanford, (4) Kristy McPherson, (5) Nicole Castrale, (6) Christina Kim, (7) Brittany Lang, (8) Morgan Pressel, (9) Brittany Lincicome and (10) Natalie Gulbis. Michelle Wie (13) and Juli Inkster (16) were selected by Daniel to round out the 12-person U.S. Team.
â€œWe have some experience in The Solheim Cup on this team, but in terms of age, we have a very young team,â€ said Daniel. â€œAnd to me, that’s really exciting, because this is the future of American golf sitting to my right, and it’s a pretty exciting future.â€
The European Team is selected by taking the top-five players from the Ladies European Tour (LET) points standings, followed by the next top-four eligible European LET members appearing on the Rolex Rankings, plus three captainâ€™s selections. Players began accumulating points toward the 2009 European Solheim Cup Team at the 2007 De Vere Ladies Scottish Open. Based on the LETâ€™s qualifying process, (1) Gwladys Nocera, (2) Tania Elosegui, (3) Diana Luna, (4) Laura Davies, (5) Sophie Gustafson qualified automatically via the official points system. Suzann Pettersen, Helen Alfredsson, Catriona Matthew and Maria Hjorth qualified from the Rolex Rankings and Becky Brewerton, Janice Moodie and Anna Nordqvist were selected by Nicholas as her captainâ€™s picks.
â€œThat’s the toughest day that I can imagine that I’ve ever had right now,â€ said Nicholas after announcing her 2009 team. â€œBut I felt this was from my heart and I know the players well, and I’m confident in what I’ve chosen, and I’m delighted in my 12 players.â€
Qualifying points for the U.S. Team are awarded weekly to the top-20 finishers and ties at official LPGA tournaments. Points are doubled at the four major championships every year. Points during a Solheim Cup year are weighted with 60 points for a win, 30 for second, 28.5 for third, 27 for fourth, 25.5 for fifth, 24 for sixth, 22.5 for seventh, 21 for eighth, 19.5 for ninth, 18 for 10th, 16.5 for 11th, 15 for 12th, 13.5 for 13th, 12 for 14th, 10.5 for 15th, 9 for 16th, 7.5 for 17th, 6 for 18th, 4.5 for 19th and 3 for 20th.
U.S. players started earning 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup points at the 2007 LPGA State Farm LPGA Classic in Springfield, Ill., and ended today at the RICOH Womenâ€™s British Open. U.S. Players begin earning points toward the 2011 Solheim Cup at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, Aug. 28-30, in North Plains, Ore.
About The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players from the LET. The U.S. Team leads the competition 7-3 and has never lost on home soil. The 2009 Solheim Cup will be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove on Aug. 21-23. It will be contested at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, in 2011, and then moved to Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. in 2013. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include AIB Group and Rolex. For more information, log on to www.SolheimCup.com.
Photo: On Sunday at the RICOH Womenâ€™s British Open in Lancashire, England, the teams for the upcoming Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove were revealed. The U.S. team is captained by Beth Daniel, while the Europe squad is captained by Alison Nicholas. More information on the first-ever joint announcement is inside the sports section. Courtesy Photo