The 16th Solheim Cup at Gleneagles this week could be among the closest we’ve observed in its own 29-year history, states Ewen Murray…
The bookies have Team USA as marginal favourites, but a lot of them feel that Europe have the edge in a couple of areas that are important – home edge, and just three rookies in comparison with the six in Juli Inkster’s line-up.
I have never been an advocate of this”rookies really are a problem” talk. You’ve got to be a beginner at a certain point in your profession, and also the majority of debutants in the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cups have performed well.
When you take a look at the world positions, it looks one-sided in favor of the Americans when the competition begins, but positions can be dismissed. It’s about heart and both teams possess those attributes throughout the board.
The European group need a significant player to step up, and that could be Charley Hull this week. She was amazing on her introduction a few years back, although she is going to be disappointed with her career has grown since.
I am sure than her results imply Charley is a far better player, and I believe she’ll be one of the stars of this series at Gleneagles. She has proved that she has the heart and courage to find the work done.
There looks to be a balance in the European team. It is a challenging challenge to prevent the Americans winning three in a row, although they have a mixture of youth and experience.
Captain Inkster knows what she’s doing, and three have played with a Solheim Cup in Europe, although team USA might have those rookies. Nine times each player, Juli, three times every captain is the individual.
At the day’s end, knock it on the greens you’ve got to discover the fairways and pit a few drops. There are 24 players here who are world-class, and we have seen many times before in team competitions that world ranks and sort mean little.
The week started eventfully if Stacy Lewis was forced to pull out with a back injury and was replaced with Ally McDonald – another debutant. Lewis had been fighting with the injury for a few weeks, and a few indicated a week, she ought to have withdrawn.
But if she believed she had a prospect of playing, Stacy was within her rights to give it a go and Inkster was correct to give her chance. Ally McDonald was at Gleneagles and ready to step in, so no harm done there.
Inkster already had five rookies within her team when qualifying completed and additional experience as her picks with Lewis and Morgan Pressel, therefore she would have been keen to give Lewis as possible to recuperate.
However, it became clear during training on Monday which Lewis was not likely to be able to make it the funniest rookie had as much time as the rest of her team.
With a tight contest in store, the Solheim Cup will be very likely to be won and lost on the greens. Than the players are used to the LPGA 22, these placing surfaces will likely probably be accurate, but a lot slower.
It is a great length for the women if it stays wet and soft, though it is going to play a little longer than that. Length is no problem for most of the world’s best women golfers these days, so it is going to boil down to who collapses in the putts, and at the right moment.
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