European Captain Liselotte Neumann chose to send out her “Swedish Vikings” in the first match of the 13th Solheim Cup as Europe defend the trophy and aim for a first win on US soil.
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, both stars of the triumph at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago, will face Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion Stacy Lewis and rookie Lizette Salas in an intriguing opening encounter.
In the second match, Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari take on Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford, while the all-British pair of Catriona Matthew and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff tackle Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda and the bottom tie is Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher versus Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
Meg Mallon, the US Captain, stated that no one in her team will play in all five sessions, while she also intends to give everyone an outing on the opening day.
Neumann was a little more reticent. “We will probably give everyone a rest, but I haven’t quite decided,” said the Swede. “I would love to see everyone on the golf course tomorrow, but I’ll wait and see what happens in the morning matches.”
Mallon has put out two of her four rookies in the opening session – Salas and Korda – while Recari and Ewart-Shadoff are two of the six European rookies.
“I wanted to go with some experienced players in the morning and I’ve also got a couple of rookies in there,” said Neumann. “I’m very comfortable with the pairings.”
Both Captains agreed that the form on the greens will be the key to success. “They are so undulated and so fast,” commented Neumann.
“In some places you can’t get even close to the hole. Even with chipping you can’t throw it high enough to get the ball to stop.”
Friday Morning Matches