The 16th Solheim Cup in Gleneagles this week might be among the closest we have observed in its 29-year history, states Ewen Murray…
The bookies have Team USA as favourites, but a lot of them feel that Europe have the edge in two or three key areas – home edge, and only three rookies compared to the six in the line-up of Juli Inkster.
I have been an advocate of the”rookies really are a problem” talk. You have got to become a rookie at some stage in your career, and the vast majority of debutants lately in the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cups have performed well.
It appears one-sided in favor of those Americans this week when you have a take a look at the world rankings, but rankings can be dismissed once the contest starts. It is all about heart, need, and both teams possess those characteristics throughout the board.
A player to measure up is needed by the group, and that could be Charley Hull this past week. Although she will be disappointed with her career has grown since, she was incredible on her introduction a few years ago.
I’m sure than her results imply Charley is a much superior player, and I think she will be among the stars of the series at Gleneagles. She has proved within her Solheim Cup appearances that she has the heart and courage .
There looks to be a wonderful balance in the team. It is a challenging challenge to stop the Americans winning three, although They’ve a mixture of experience and youth.
Captain Inkster knows what she is doing, and three have played with with a Solheim Cup at Europe, although team USA may have these rookies. Nine times three times each captain, every participant, Juli is the perfect person.
At the conclusion of the day, you’ve got to find the fairways, knock it around the greens and pit a few putts. There are 24 players here who are world class, and we have seen several times before in group competitions that world ranks and current form mean very little.
The week started when Stacy Lewis was forced to pull out with a back injury and has been replaced by Ally McDonald – yet another debutant. Lewis had been fighting with the injury for a couple of weeks, and a few suggested last week she should have pulled.
But if she believed she had a prospect of playing, Stacy was well within her faith to give it a try and Inkster was right to give her chance. Ally McDonald was at Gleneagles and prepared to step into, so no harm done there.
Inkster already had five rookies when qualifying finished and added experience as her wildcard selections with Lewis and Morgan Pressel, therefore she’d have been eager to give Lewis as possible to recover.
However, it became clear during practice the rookie had as much time, together with McDonald currently practicing , that Lewis wasn’t likely to be able to make it.
With this kind of a tight competition in store, the 16th Solheim Cup is very likely to be lost and won on the greens. These placing surfaces will likely be accurate, but a great deal slower than the players are utilised to on the LPGA Tour.
It’s a nice length for the ladies overall at around 6,400 yards, although it will play if it stays soft and wet. Length is no problem for the majority of the world’s best women golfers these days, therefore it is going to boil down to that collapses in the putts, and in the ideal moment.

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