Prospective members of U.S. team show skills at Rich Harvest Farms
by Mike Slodki
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Rich Harvest Farms golf club was the site of some pretty special golf action on Monday.
LPGA legend Beth Daniel was there fielding questions and taking a couple swings, but only in a captainâ€™s capacity and advisory role.
Similarly talented golfers like Angela Stanford, Nicole Castrale and Brittany Lang were there taking swings, and it was just technically practice.
If this June afternoon was just a scrimmage, fans can look toward the real deal on Aug. 21-23 for the LPGA Solheim Cup.
The U.S. vs. Europe competition happens every odd numbered year, and is similar to the Ryder Cup on the menâ€™s side.
The practice round was for Daniel and assistant coach Meg Mallon to see prospective team members in action and get used to the course.
The team is decided based on the 10 best golfers based on the Solheim Cup Standings with Daniel getting two captainâ€™s picks.
Nicole Castrale is ranked fourth in the Solheim Cup Standings and 43rd in the Womenâ€™s World Golf Standings. Sheâ€™s no stranger to pressure, having sunk the winning putt in the 2007 skirmish in Sweden.
â€œWeâ€™ll be back in the U.S. and a good majority of the fans rooting for us,â€ Castrale said. â€œItâ€™s a great golf course; itâ€™s challenging and risk-reward.â€
â€œItâ€™s going to be totally different playing at home than playing away,â€ 21-year old Morgan Pressel (8th Solheim, 37th World) said. â€œIâ€™m looking forward to shopping for all the red, white and blue paraphernalia and all kinds of stuff.â€
Pressel is also looking for a return trip to the Solheim team.
â€œItâ€™s a different kind of course. Some of the choices that youâ€™re going to make on this golf course especially, you might take an extra risk,â€ Pressel said.
Photo: Brittany Lincicome, 23, of the LPGA tour drives a ball at Rich Harvest Farms golf club in Sugar Grove on Monday during a practice session that included prospective members of the U.S. team. Lincicome looks to rejoin the team that defeated Europe at the 2007 match in Halmstad, Sweden. Photo by Ben Draper