Charley Hull is the youngest ever Solheim Cup player and the 17-year-old added refreshing charm and a lot of fun to proceedings on the eve of battle at Colorado Golf Club.
|Charley has a chat to European Vice-Captain Annika Sorenstam
“It would rock my world if I went out there and won a couple of points,” said the Woburn teenager, who played Junior Solheim Cup in Ireland two years ago.
“Liselotte (Neumann) was also my Junior Captain and this is a great experience and I feel I’m ready and eager to go out and play.”
Pitched into a press conference alongside Suzann Pettersen, the crossfire between the pair provided some light-hearted moments.
Hull teased Pettersen about her age – the Norwegian was amused by Hull’s youthful innocence.
Hull has had five second place finishes on the LET this season and, at the European Masters, she played in a three-ball with Laura Davies and Karrie Webb, two of the biggest names in the game.
“I was playing good golf and it was a great experience to play with them,” she said. “But, I thought, you know they are just normal people who happen to be good golfers.”
Pettersen was impressed by the carefree approach. “I think it is fantastic to listen to Charley and have her in the team,” said the veteran.
“We were probably all like that back in the day. We didn’t know any better. It’s so genuine and I don’t blame her. Why should you be intimidated on the golf course?”
For more than a decade, Pettersen has been a hugely significant player for Europe in the Solheim Cup. On the eve of the 13th staging, the world No.3 wants to be part of history and lead a side to victory for a first time on US soil.
It was the Pettersen’s never-say-die attitude that helped steer Europe to the unforgettable triumph at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago. Her one hole final day victory over Michelle Wie was both crucial and influential as the home side stormed to a 7-5 win in the singles and an overall 15-13 score line.
“It was massive for us to win in Ireland,” reflected the 32-year-old. “We face a huge task this weekend. It’s a great US team but we just have to try and win every wave and, if we do, then it will all add up to good numbers on Sunday.
“On the Saturday night in Ireland, Annika (Sorenstam) told us to ‘go out and fight’ in the singles. That’s what we need to do again.”
Carlota Ciganda is one of six rookies and one of three Spaniards in the team. She has played mostly on the LPGA Tour this season with a second place in the North Texas LPGA Shootout in April. On the LET, she won her third trophy at the UniCredit Ladies German Open and was Rookie of the Year in 2012.
“I live close to (Jose Maria) Olazabal and I went to play with him a few weeks ago,” said the 23-year-old. “He told me to enjoy every second because it is very special to be here. And he told me to fight until the end.”
|Charley on the 11th tee at Colorado Golf Club