Solheim Cup 2013

04/08/2013. American and European Solheim Cup Teams, Swilcan Bridge, St Andrews

This afternoon – or right now, depending on when you’re reading this – one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments begins, pitting the strongest European female golfers against their American counterparts in a three day battle to secure the treasured Solheim Cup.  Despite having only commenced 23 years ago, the trophy has swiftly become a high profile counterpoint to the equivalent competition in the men’s game, the Ryder Cup, and has offered as many moments of drama, intrigue, heartbreak and ecstasy as any other tournament in the sport.

Despite entering the tournament as champions, the European team led by captain Lisette Neumann begin as distinct underdogs, facing an 8-4 deficit and the reality of never having won the cup on US soil.  Meg Mallon’s home team, meanwhile, contains five players in the current top-20 and boasts a formidable record of never having seen the trophy wrested from their grasp for longer than a single cycle.

Europe enter the tournament with six debutants amongst their ranks, including 17-year old English starlet Charley Hull who earned a wildcard pick on the back of scintillating form in her rookie season.  She is joined by fellow Brits Catriona Matthew (the Scottish world number eight) and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, while Norway’s Suzann Pettersen is Europe’s highest ranked player at number 3.  Record Solheim Cup point-scorer Laura Davies, meanwhile, misses her first ever tournament after she missed out on a captain’s pick, the veteran having been well off the pace and missing the cut in the recent British Open.

The tournament commences with Four Foursome and Four Four-Ball matches today and tomorrow, before Sunday’s 12 singles matches, the round in which Europe eventually pulled away from the US in 2011 to win the trophy for the first time in 4 attempts.

With the cup having become increasingly evenly matched in recent years, this year’s tournament promises to stretch the nerves and capabilities of all 24 golfers who will enter the fray.  And while the big tournament experience that floods the US team will surely come in handy, it may yet be fearless rookie exploits from the European contingent that make history come Sunday’s final round.

Image from ladieseuropeantour.com – Thanks!

CS

 

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3 comments

    • 5-3, we think, and not without some controversy in the scoring! Still, puts Europe in a fantastic position to retain the cup for the first time ever.

  1. This morning the main story in the sports bulletins I heard, and I can’t monitor all of them, was the return of a certain football manager, with the unprecedented and incredible European Solheim Cup victory down the batting order.

    Now I am a Chelsea fan, albeit one who has not seen them play ‘live’ for many years now, and of course I share Chelsea fans view on Mr. Mourinho, but I think this order of priorities was wrong!

    When the European Ryder Cup team was first successful on American soil, I seem to remember there was a huge fuss made of it and I think it is not possible to praise this comparable achievement highly or loud enough. It should always be the lead item in my book, but top level men’s football rules and everything pretty much has to take at least second place to it.

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