PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Q. What's missing from the Solheim Cup?

August 18, 2009

A. Nineteen of the top-30 ranked players in the world.

Specifically, there are no Asians nor one most important Mexican participating in this prestigious women's team event that begins Friday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

The suggestion that it's time to tweak the Solheim Cup is not a new one, but it shouldn't be an ignored one, either. Consider this, written by John Huggan in Scotland on Sunday:

"This thing isn't going to be close. In fact, an eight-point loss would represent a moral victory for a European side that is way, way out of its depth. By way of example, hands up those who have heard of either Tania Elosegui or Diana Luna. Anyone? Thought not."

Elosegui and Luna, for the record, are members of the European team.

Even conceding the point that the strength of a respective team is cyclical and that Europe will be stronger in the future, that still should not preclude finding a way to get the Asian contingent involved. Given that the Solheim Cup is sanctioned by the LPGA, it would seem a prudent move on its part, considering Asia's growing influence on women's golf, from both a competitive and sponsorship standpoint.

Or for that matter, as Y.E. Yang demonstrated Sunday at Hazeltine, Asia's growing influence on golf in general. Wouldn't the interests of the game be better served by including those who represent a region in which golf is expanding, even exploding, rather than excluding them?

-- John Strege