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Solheim Cup 2021: Everything you need to know about Team Europe

August 31, 2021

Catriona Matthew got a lot of credit after captaining Europe to an impressive and dramatic 2019 Solheim Cup win at Gleneagles, and she deserved it. With precise pairings and a controversial captain’s pick in Suzann Pettersen that turned out to be genius when the veteran holed the Cup-clinching putt, Matthew led her team to an unlikely victory over Team USA. Though she didn’t take the No. 620 player in the world with one of her six captain’s picks this time around, two players on her team are the first from their respective countries to compete in a Solheim Cup as Matthew looks to spin some more magic this week at Inverness Club in Toledo.

Here’s a closer look at the team attempting to hang on to the Cup and win on the road for only the second time in the event's 31-year history.

Celine Boutier

Stuart Franklin

Age: 27
World Ranking: 66
Solheim Cup appearances:
1 (2019)
Record: 4-0-0

In Boutier’s first Solheim Cup, she played like a veteran, sweeping all four of her matches. Matthew will likely bring back the dominant duo of Boutier and Hall together again at Inverness. They were 3-0 together … how could she not?

Matilda Castren

Jed Jacobsohn

Age: 26
World Ranking: 47
Solheim Cup appearances:
Rookie

Winning the LPGA’s Mediheal Championship in June was Castren’s breakout moment. She shot a final-round 65 to win by two and become the first player from Finland to claim an LPGA title. Later in the summer, she won her first Ladies European Tour title to earn her LET membership and become eligible for the European Solheim Cup team. By making team, Castren made history for Finland again, becoming the first Finn to compete for Team Europe.

Carlota Ciganda

Chris Trotman/WME IMG

Age: 31
World Ranking: 41
Solheim Cup appearances:
4 (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Record: 6-6-4

The Spaniard set the tone early during Sunday singles at Gleneagles, beating Danielle Kang in the first match to help get things rolling for Europe. That veteran leadership will be something Matthew leans on Ciganda for again this year. The only hiccup: after three top-10 finishes in 2020, Ciganda has had just one top-20 finish since May.

Georgia Hall

David Cannon

Age: 25
World Ranking: 29
Solheim Cup appearances:
2 (2017, 2019)
Record: 6-3-0

The 2018 AIG Women’s Open champ was critical to Team Europe’s success at Gleneagles, winning every match she played in and scoring four points for Europe. She’s played well in the second half of the 2021 season, finishing in the top-15 four times, including a T-6 at the Amundi Evian Championship and a T-2 at the AIG Women’s Open.

Charley Hull

Warren Little/R&A

Age: 25
World Ranking:
38
Solheim Cup appearances:
4 (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Record:
9-3-3

It’s crazy to think the 25-year-old Englishwoman is already playing in her fifth Solheim Cup. Though she’s not having her best season, the one-time winner on the LPGA Tour has two top-10s in 2021. Without Azahara Muñoz on this year’s team, Matthew will have to find a new partner for Hull, who went undefeated while playing Muñoz two years ago.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen

Andrew Redington

Age: 26
World Ranking: 49
Solheim Cup appearances:
Rookie

The Dane is still looking for her first LPGA win since joining the tour in 2018, but she’s triumphed three times on the Symetra Tour and once on the LET. Impressively has poted three top-15s majors this year: T-3 at the ANA Inspiration, T-15 at the KPMG Women’s PGA and T-5 at the AIG Women’s Open.

Leona Maguire

David Cannon/R&A

Age: 26
World Ranking: 45
Solheim Cup appearances:
Rookie

This stat is surprising: Maguire is the first Irishwoman to ever play in a Solheim Cup. The former top-ranked amateur in the world had her most impressive season as a pro in 2021, twice posting runner-up finishes. Her most impressive accomplishment might have been shooting a 61 in the final round of the Amundi Evian Championship, tying the record for lowest round in an LPGA major.

Anna Nordqvist

Stuart Franklin

Age: 34
World Ranking: 16
Solheim Cup appearances:
6 (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Record: 12-9-2

The newly crowned AIG Women’s Open champion has played in the most Solheim Cups of anyone on either the U.S. or European teams. The Carnoustie win was her first in four years, and her ninth career LPGA Tour win. Inverness’ reputation as a second-shot golf course could suit her well as she’s ranked 15th on tour in greens in regulation.

Emily Kristine Pedersen

Charlie Crowhurst/R&A

Age: 25
World Ranking: 67
Solheim Cup appearances:
1 (2017)
Record: 0-3-0

Pedersen won for the first time on the Ladies European Tour in 2015, the same year she was the LET rookie of the year. Somehow she didn’t win again until 2020, and in those five years had her share of ups and downs on the LPGA too, losing her card, and returned to the LET. But last year saw the native of Denmark finally regain that promising early form; winning four times on the LET, including three straight events.

Sophia Popov

Warren Little/R&A

Age: 28
World Ranking: 30
Solheim Cup appearances:
Rookie

Popov became an overnight star when she won the 2020 AIG Women’s Open without having status on the LPGA Tour. She has since proved the win wasn’t a fluke; she’s had three top-10 finishes in 2021, including a runner-up at the Bank of Hope Match Play.

Mel Reid

David Cannon

Age: 33
World Ranking: 53
Solheim Cup appearances:
3 (2011, 2015, 2017)
Record: 4-6-2

The 2019 Solheim Cup was bittersweet for Reid. She didn’t make the team and instead served as an assistant captain. While being a part of the win was great, it wasn’t the same as playing. She made sure she wouldn’t miss out on the competition in 2021 by winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic last October for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Madelene Sagstrom

Andrew Redington

Age: 28
World Ranking: 48
Solheim Cup appearances:
1 (2017)
Record: 1-2-0

In 2016, the Swede joined the Symetra Tour after a standout college career at LSU and became not only the first player to earn more than $100,000 in a season, but the first to earn more than $150,000. Her career has continued to rise, as she claimed her first LPGA event in 2020, the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, and in August had her best ever finish in a major, tying for second at the AIG Women’s Open.