The 16th Solheim Cup at Gleneagles this week may be among the closest we’ve seen in its own 29-year history, states Ewen Murray…
The bookies have Team USA as marginal favourites, but many feel that Europe have the advantage in two or three areas – home advantage, and only three rookies when compared with the six in the line-up of Juli Inkster.
I have never been an advocate of this“rookies are a problem“ talk. You have got to be a rookie at some stage in your profession, and the vast majority of debutants in the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cups of recent years have performed well.
It looks one-sided in favour of the Americans this week when you look at the world rankings, but positions can be dismissed once the competition begins. It’s about heart and the two teams possess those attributes throughout the board.
The group need a player to measure up, and that could be Charley Hull this week. Though she will be disappointed with how her career has grown since, she was incredible on her introduction as a 17-year-old in Colorado a couple of years ago.
I am certain than her results suggest Charley is a much better player, and I think she’ll be one of the stars of the show at Gleneagles. She has proved in her Solheim Cup appearances she has courage and the heart .
There looks to be a balance in the Western group. They have a mixture of experience and youth, but it is a difficult challenge to stop the Americans winning three.
Team USA might have these half-dozen rookies, and three have played with a Solheim Cup at Europe, however Captain Inkster knows precisely what she’s doing. Nine times three times per captain, every player, Juli is the ideal person.
In the day’s conclusion, hole a few putts, knock it around the greens and then you have got to discover the fairways. There are 24 players who are world class, and we’ve seen many times before in team competitions that form and world rankings mean really little.
The week started eventfully when Stacy Lewis had been forced to pull out with a back injury and has been replaced with Ally McDonald – another debutant. Lewis had been struggling with the injury for a couple of weeks, and a few indicated last week, she ought to have removed.
However, if she felt she had a genuine likelihood of playing, Stacy was within her rights to give it a try and Inkster was appropriate to give her chance. Ally McDonald was at Gleneagles and ready to step in, so no harm done there.
Inkster additional expertise with Lewis and Morgan Pressel because her wildcard selections and had five rookies when qualifying finished, so she’d have been keen to provide Lewis as long as you possibly can recuperate.
But it became clear during training the rookie had as much time as the remainder of her group, together with McDonald practicing , that Lewis wasn’t likely to be able to make it.
With this kind of a tight competition in shop, the Solheim Cup is very likely to be lost and won on the greens. Than the gamers are utilized to about the LPGA 22, these will be true, but a lot slower.
It’s a wonderful length for those women although it will play if it remains soft and wet. Length is not a problem for most of the world’s top women golfers these days, so it will boil down to that knocks in the most putts, and in the ideal time.
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