Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta


The 13 best Solheim Cup rookie performances of all time

September 12, 2019

GLENEAGLES, Scotland — It's hard to go very long in the pressroom at Gleneagles without hearing the word "rookie." And for good reason. Team USA has six of them, and Europe has three. Rookies are an unknown commodity at a Solheim Cup, not yet proven in the team-centric, match-play dynamic. But being a rookie isn't necessarily a bad thing. Historically, some first-timers have been quite good. Here's a look at the rookies who have scored the most points for their teams in Solheim Cup history:

Beth Daniel, 1990

Team USA, 3 points

Beth Daniel During The Solheim Cup

Phil Sheldon/Popperfoto

Everyone was a rookie in the 1990 Solheim Cup at Lake Nona Golf Club in Florida, given it was the first Solheim Cup. But Daniel, who was 3-0, including a 7-and-6 victory over Liselotte Neumann, was the standout for the American team that won the inaugural event, 11½-4½. (In 1990, three points was the max each players could get. They played a total of three matches: foursomes, four-ball and singles matches.)

Pat Hurst, 1998

Team USA, 3 points

Pat Hurst solheim cup

Craig Jones

Played at Muirfield Village in Ohio, the fifth Solheim Cup ended with Team USA the victors. Judy Rankin captained the team to a 16-12 win. Hurst went undefeated in foursomes and four-ball to help the Americans build an almost insurmountable lead entering Sunday singles.

Carin Koch, 2000

Team Europe, 3 points

carin koch Solheim Cup

David Cannon

Koch, who was 3 down in her singles match against Michele Redman, rallied to win, 2 and 1. The victory was the deciding point for Team Europe at Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

Janice Moodie, 2000

Team Europe, 3 points

janice moodie Solheim Cup

David Cannon

The Scot was paired with Annika Sorenstam throughout the week, the duo winning two of three matches. Moodie capped it by defeating Nancy Scranton.

Laura Diaz, 2002

Team USA, 3 points

laura diaz EDINA, MN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Laura Diaz during friday afternoon fourball matches for the 2002 Solheim

David Cannon

As is historically the case when the U.S. team plays at home, the Americans won in 2002 at Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota. But they had to rally on Sunday after trailing, 9-7, entering singles, and Diaz was a catalyst, winning the second match of the day, 5 and 4, over Paula Marti. Diaz went on to play three more Solheim Cups and served as an assistant captain for Meg Mallon in 2013.

Emilee Klein, 2002

Team USA, 3 points

Emilee Klein of the USA jumps into her caddy's arms

David Cannon

Klein, Diaz and Meg Mallon were the highest scorers for Team USA in 2002, each finishing 3-1-0. This was Klein's lone appearance.

Natalie Gulbis, 2005

Team USA, 3 points

natalie gulbis Solheim Cup - Singles

Warren Little

The then-22-year-old was one of two standout rookies for the victorious American team at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana.

Paula Creamer, 2005

Team USA, 3½ points

USA Paula Creamer, 2005 Solheim Cup

Darren Carroll

Creamer was a 19-year-old on her way to winning LPGA Rookie of the Year honors when she played for captain Nancy Lopez. Creamer played in all five sessions, going 3-1-1 in the first of seven straight Solheim Cup starts.

Michelle Wie, 2009

Team USA, 3½ points

michelle wie 2009 Solheim Cup

Darren Carroll

The two teams were tied heading into the final day at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. But then Team USA dominated singles, winning eight of the 12 matches. Wie, a captain's pick at just 19 years old, beat European stalwart Helen Alfredsson, 1 up.

Ryann O'Toole, 2011

Team USA, 3 points

ryann o'toole Solheim Cup - Day One

David Cannon

Though O'Toole, a captain's pick by Rosie Jones, preformed well, going 2-0-2 at Killeen Castle near Dublin, Team USA lost, 15-13.

Beatriz Recari, 2013

Team Europe, 3 points

recari The Solheim Cup - Day Three

Doug Pensinger

Team Europe's 18-10 victory at Colorado Golf Club marked the first time that the Europeans had won in the United States. Recari went 3-1, beating Angela Stanford in singles.

Carlota Ciganda, 2013

Team Europe, 3 points

carlota ciganda The Solheim Cup - Day One

Chris Graythen

Ciganda won all three matches she played at Colorado Golf Club, adding to what still stands as the largest Solheim Cup victory ever.

Danielle Kang, 2017

Team USA, 3 points

danielle kang des moines solheim

Harry How

Kang made it clear from the beginning that she was built for the Solheim Cup. Team USA's win in Des Moines, Iowa, was the second-consecutive win for captain Juli Inkster, who was confident enough in Kang to put her in the anchor singles match.

[RELATED: Solheim Cup 2019: Team USA has a record number of rookies on their squad this year](