A (very) early look at the 2024 U.S. Solheim Cup team
If U.S. Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis stepped into Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., today for the rematch against Europe after it retained the Solheim Cup in Spain, her roster would look similar to the one she had last week. With a season of points already being earned, Lewis' nine automatic qualifiers for the 2024 American squad would all be members of her ’23 roster, although they are not the same nine that qualified for this year's Cup.
"Fortunately, we only have to wait another year to go get this thing back," Lewis said.
The LPGA moving the Solheim Cup to an even-year schedule starting next September means the 19th edition of the event is less than a year away, with Lewis and Suzann Pettersen back as captains of their respective teams. American players have been accumulating points since the start of this season at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and continue to earn them through the end of the qualifying period, which has not yet been announced.
The 2024 system will use the same automatic qualifying categories as 2023, with seven players off a points list, the two highest ranked players on the Rolex Women's World Rankings not already on the team and then three captain's picks. Unsurprisingly, the two American major champions from this year, Lilia Vu (992) and Allisen Corpuz (866), are atop the points list. Nelly Korda (725), Megan Khang (667), Ally Ewing (591), Angel Yin (564) and Andrea Lee (394) round out the current top seven. That group, led by Khang's 3½-point performance at Finca Cortesin, combined to go 12-12-3 last week in Spain.
The closest chasers for the Nos. 8-10 spots are all fellow '23 Solheim Cup players: Cheyenne Knight (386), Jennifer Kupcho (381) and Rose Zhang (322), respectively. Danielle Kang (295) remains in striking distance of a points position in 12th place, while Lexi Thompson (39) has work to make the 2024 on points even after having the second-most record of any American in Spain by going 3-1.
There is minimal movement in the two Rolex Women's World Ranking spots, which makes sense given there have only been two tournaments between the end of the 2023 U.S. team qualification period and the Solheim Cup. Thompson (No. 26) holds the first World Ranking spot, with Kupcho (29) taking the second one. Zhang (32) and Kang (34) are nearby.
Then Lewis will have her three captain's picks, where she'll no doubt apply the same analytics approach she took this year to choose Ewing, Yin and Knight to round out the team (the three picks went a combined 5-4-1). With Lewis' system no longer just theoretical in determining who should partner with whom, the captain would likely be happy to have a similar group again.
"We now have some pairings actually going forward," Lewis said. "There's no trial-and-error again going into ’24."