Rooting for Europe at next month’s Solheim Cup? You had to be happy with how qualifying just shook out
The end of the ISPS Handa World Invitational also marked the end of the qualifying period for Europe’s Solheim Cup roster. All eight players in line for automatic spots heading into the week held their places, as the Ladies European Tour announced Sunday that Celine Boutier and Maja Stark earned their way onto the team through LET Solheim points. Charley Hull, Leona Maguire, Georgia Hall, Linn Grant, Carlota Ciganda and Anna Nordqvist claimed the remaining six qualifying spots from their placement in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.
Six of the eight qualifiers have previous experience in the Solheim Cup, with Boutier, Hull, Maguire, Hall and Nordqvist playing for the victorious European team at Inverness Club in 2021. Stark and Grant are the two rookies to qualify, each winning their first-ever LPGA events during the qualifying period. Stark won the 2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational last season, and Grant won the Dana Open in July.
“I’m very happy with my team right now,” said European captain Suzann Pettersen via a release, the biennial competition set for Sept. 22-24 at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain with the Europeans looking to win for a third straight match, something they haven't done since the start of the competition in 1990. “Congratulations to the eight players who have automatically qualified, we have so much experience in the team, and it’s great to have our rookies Maja and Linn representing Europe for the first time. We have never had such a strong group of players in terms of world ranking. The European players have been playing well this year and putting in strong performances across the board.”
Boutier led the points list with a commanding European swing, winning the Amundi Evian Championship and the Freed Group Women’s Scottish Open in back-to-back weeks starting at the end of July. The 29-year-old from France will be playing in her third Solheim Cup, having impressively earned 5½ of a possible seven points combined in 2019 and 2021.
Outside of Grant, the Rolex Rankings group has played in a combined 21 Solheim Cups, with Nordqvist (who is also serving as a vice captain) leading the way with seven consecutive cups dating back to 2009.
“I’m very proud to be taking on vice-captaincy and playing this year,” Nordqvist said. “I don’t think it’s a secret how much I love the Solheim Cup and it brings out the best in me. It’s always my biggest goal every two years to make the team and try to help Europe win.”
Pettersen will fill out the remaining spots on her 12-player roster on Tuesday when she announces her four captain’s picks. The United States ends its automatic qualifying period after next week’s CPKC Canadian Open, with only four of the nine spots already locked up (Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, Allisen Corpuz and Megan Khang). U.S. captain Stacy Lewis then will name her three captain's picks afterward.