The European Solheim Cup team has been announced, with one surprising captain's pick
Eight members of the European Solheim Cup team qualified through points, which left four captain's picks for Catriona Matthew to make on Monday for the event that begins Sept. 13 at Gleneagles in Scotland. The eight players who qualified were Carlota Ciganda, Anne Van Dam (the only rookie to auto-qualify for the team), Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist. As expected, two of the captain's picks were Bronte Law of England and Celine Boutier of France, the only European women to have won LPGA events in 2019. Matthew also selected Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who has played in two Solheim Cups, with a career record of 3-4-0. She is ranked No. 77 in the world and has had four top-10 finishes in 2019.
Matthew's final pick was Suzann Pettersen, ranked No. 620 in the world, who has just returned to competitive golf. The last LPGA Tour event Pettersen played before starting her maternity leave was the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship. Pettersen and her husband, Christian Ringvold, announced the birth of their son in August 2018. Her first event back on the LPGA Tour was the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a team event where she played with Matthew. The pair missed the cut. Pettersen then played in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, where she shot 71-73 and missed the cut.
“Bronte and Celine’s excellent recent form speaks for itself in terms of why I selected them, and I think they are both going to have fantastic Solheim Cup debuts," Matthew said. "I chose Jodi and Suzann for their vast experience, their recent good form and because I know exactly what they bring to the European team room. With our only other rookie being Anne Van Dam, who has also had an excellent year, I feel the experience of our team will be a great advantage to us along with the home crowd support.”
This will be Pettersen's ninth Solheim Cup. She didn't play in the 2017 competition due to injury. Her Solheim Cup record is 16-11-6, and she's a 15-time winner on the LPGA Tour, including two majors. Because she is now playing on the team, Pettersen will no longer be a vice captain. Instead, Mel Reid will join Laura Davies and Kathryn Imrie as a vice captain.
Reid, who finished T-3 at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship this year, was a potential captain's pick. Matthew didn't address why she didn't pick Reid, but Reid missed the cut in the last two events she played, the AIG Women's British Open and the Ladies Scottish Open. Reid has missed seven other cuts this season and is ranked No. 104 in the world. She has played in three Solheim Cups, with a record of 4-6-2. She didn't win a match in the 2017 competition.
“Catriona knows that match play brings out the absolute best in my game and that I will be ready to deliver points for her come September," Pettersen said. "I honestly believe that my best contribution to our Solheim Cup campaign will be on the course, and I am very grateful to Catriona for having the confidence to choose me for this year’s team.”
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