European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew picked three veterans and three rookies on Monday to fill out her 12-woman roster for the match Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
The conclusion of the AIG Women’s Open saw the qualification window for the Solheim Cup close, with newly crowned champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden joining Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark, England’s Georgia Hall and Charley Hull, Germany’s Sophia Popov and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda as automatic qualifiers.
Matthew used half of her captain’s picks on rookies Leona Maguire of Ireland, Matilda Castren of Finland and Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark. She also chose Solheim veterans Madelene Sagström of Sweden, Céline Boutier of France, and Mel Reid of England for the team trying to defend the Cup against the Americans.
“I’m really excited, it is something that I have looked forward to,” said Maguire, who will be the first Irish golfer to compete in the Solheim Cup. “I have played the Ping Junior Solheim Cup in 2009 and 2011, it was an incredible thing to be part of the Junior side so to be on the ‘big’ team is something really special and no Irish person has ever done it before.”
Likewise, Castren will be the first Finnish player on the team. “I don’t think it has really sunk in yet, but it brings tears of joy into my eyes just thinking about it and how much fun it is going to be and how cool it is going to be representing Europe and representing Finland,” she said. “It has been one of my goals and dreams since I was a little girl. It is just so cool to see it happen. I can’t describe it, I’m super happy. It’s hard to contain my excitement.”
Team Europe will face a United States side anchored by world No. 1 Nelly Korda, who counts the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship among her three LPGA victories in 2021, in addition to the gold medal she won last month at the Olympic Games in Japan.
Other qualifiers through the U.S. Solheim Cup standings are Danielle Kang, Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Megan Khang. AIG Women’s Open runner-up Lizette Salas joined Jennifer Kupcho in making the squad as the top two players in the Rolex Rankings not already qualified.
Team USA will release the names today of the three captain’s picks that will fill out the squad that will be led by Pat Hurst.
Play begins Sept. 4 at Inverness Club. Team Europe holds the cup after its 14½-13½ victory at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2019. The United States holds a 10-6 advantage in victories since the competition began in 1990.
Staff and Wire Reports