Solheim Cup Preview & Tips

The 2021 Solheim cup is the 17th time this event has taken place. The Women’s equivalent of the Ruder cup taking place just a few weeks before the men tee it up.  12 players from Team USA & 12 from Team Europe will compete over 3 days of match play to see who will come out victorious. 2 sets of foursomes & fourballs then 12 singles matches will decide the winners. 28 points are on offer throughout the event with 14 ½ needed to win & 14 needed for Europe to defend. USA will be keen for revenge after last time where they lost on the very last hole. Suzanne Peterson holing the winning putt on her retirement match to win for team Europe. An iconic moment in the women’s game which will long live in the memories of many. This year sees a Monday finish with all 12 singles matches taking place on Labour day. The event will start on Saturday with 4 foursomes in the morning then 4 fourballs in the afternoon. This is then repeated on the Sunday & concluding on Monday with singles.

Course

Inverness golf club is this year’s host located in Toledo, Ohio. The Donald Ross design has held Majors in the men’s game 6 times most recently in 1993 for the PGA & held its 1st LPGA event in 2020 which Danielle Kang won with Celine Boutier finishing 2nd. Half of the field playing this week also played this event to get some key insights on the course. The course was designed as a par 71 but this week plays as a par 72. 3 par 3s, 13 par 4s & 2 par 5s will make up the 6833 yard course. There is water in play from a stream that meanders its way through the course, nearly half the holes have this hazard to look out for & also every green is well protected by numerous bunkers to punish any way ward approaches. All the practice rounds will be played in a completely different wind direction to what is predicted at the weekend as the north breeze they have all week changes to a South westerly breeze on opening day & will stay that way for the weekend which could catch a few players out. The forecast looks set to be cloudy for most of the championship but very warm at an average of 28°C

Team USA – Host

Captain – Pat Hurst

Vice Captains – Michelle Wie West, Angela Stanford & Stacy Lewis

Players

Nelly Korda

The world no1 & Olympic gold medallist will have a target on her back from team Europe this week. Everyone will want to take points off her so she will need her A game. She is highly likely to feature in all 5 matches & will more than likely be paired with her sister Jess. She was unbeaten on debut last time winning 3 games & halving 1.

Danielle Kang

Danielle loves the Solheim cup she gets the crowd going & creates a huge atmosphere around her. She won’t have her usual partner & best friend Michelle Wie to partner up with this week but that won’t phase her. She has played in 2 Solheim’s playing 8 matches winning 4 & losing 4. Apart from the Open she has been in great for with 4 top 10 finishes in 7 starts so comes into the week full of confidence & one of USAs inform players.

Ally Ewing

Ally didn’t have the best of debuts losing 3 times & winning once. She won the 2nd event of her career this year with the Bank of Hope LPGA match play which she will take plenty of confidence into especially after beating one of team Europe in the final Sophia Popov. She has had a very consistent year & has climbed to 22nd in the world with 2 top 6 finishes in her last 5 starts.

Austin Ernst 

The world no 27 will play in her 2nd Solheim cup. Her event record currently is 2 wins & 2 defeats. Another player who has been consistent all year long & picked up her 3rd career victory this year with the Drive on Championship in March. Her partner is 2017 was Paula Creamer for all 3 foursome & fourball matches so she will be getting a new player to team up with this week. Jennifer Kupcho, I think could benefit from playing with her this week.

Lexi Thompson

Lexi at just 26 years old is one of the veterans on the team this week having played in 4 Solheim cups already. She was involved in one of the best match play single matches off all time with Anna Nordqvist in 2017 where they halved the match. One for the neutrals to look out for on Monday should they get drawn together again. No wins for nearly 2 years now for Lexi but she has had 4 top 10 finishes this year in 15 starts with no missed cuts.

Jessica Korda

Another American who has a victory to her name this year wining at the very start with the Tournament of champions. She made all the cuts at every major & has had another solid year. She has played in 2 Solheim cups previously & has a record of 4 wins 2 loses & 2 halves so she has the joint 2nd best win percentage with Brittany Altomare only behind her sister. I’m fully expecting her to be teamed up with her sister every day this week as they are a very tough team to beat.

Megan Khang

Megan is still looking for her 1st win on the LPGA but that doesn’t take away what a great player & year she has had. A consistent run of events with 3 top 10s sees her ranked as the 36th best golfer in the world. She will be keen to improve on her 2019 Solheim record & notch up a 1st win. She suffered 2 defeats & a halve on debut in 2019.

Lizette Salas

The 2nd Veteran of team USA with 4 appearances & holds an impressive record with 6wins 2 halves & 6 loses. Lizette came very close this year to her maiden major title with 2 2nd place finishes at the Open & PGA Championship. She is without a win since 2014 but a solid season has seen her rise to no14 in the world. The only thing missing for her this year is a win which I’m sure will be just around the corner. Team Europe will certainly be aware that she is undefeated in her 4 singles matches winning 3 & halving the other. She will make a great partner for one of the rookies this year to show them the ropes of the Solheim.

Jennifer Kupcho

The 1st of 3 rookies for team USA but the only one who qualified in the points system. She has had 4 tops 10s & only missed 2 cuts from 16 events this season. A player who is still waiting for her 1st LPGA title but one of the most consistent players on tour. She rose to world no11 this year with her form but has since dropped to 28th. She made the cut in every major this year but never really challenged in them. She is somebody who I think will go very well this week.

Brittany Altomare

The 1st Captain pick got in with her form over the past year only missing 3 cuts from 17 starts. Her 2 top 10s at the Meijer classic & a 9th place finish in the match play enough for captain Hurst to select her. Another player who is waiting on her maiden win on tour but a player who is good enough get it done very soon. As the 2nd oldest player on the team at just 30 she will be needed for her experience this week.

Yealimi Noh

The 20-year-old is the youngest player playing this week by 3 years & is set for a great week. Her form in her last 4 events made her a dead cert on the captain picks. She has finished 13-7-14 & 3rd in her last 4 starts so is one of the in-form players this week who id expect to be out for all 5 matches even if she is a rookie. I can see her & Danielle Kang playing together this week as they both seem to be very fiery characters who can bounce of each other.

Mina Harigae.

The final pick & another rookie for team USA. She has been on tour sine 2010 & we be buzzing to of finally made the team. She will bring over 10 years of tour experience to the team which could be vital. A few question marks on her pick could add pressure to her when she plays as there were 2 players in the world rankings ahead of her that have had equally good years. However, she fully deserved her place on the team especially on recent from which reads 13-5-29-2-46 3 of them starts being majors so she like Yealimi is in great form currently.

Team Europe

Captain – Catriona Matthew

Vice captains – Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie & Suzann Pettersen

Players

Emily Pedersen

The current race to Costa del sol winner probably made the team last season with her 3-win winning streak she went on meaning nobody could catch her points total. Hard to believe she is still only ranked 68th in the world. She is one of Europe’s most in form players with recent finishes reading 13-5-29-2-46. She’s transitioned from LET to LPGA well this year with 3 top 10 finishes. She played in the 2017 edition of the Solheim & didn’t claim a point for her team which she will be determined to put right this time.

Georgia Hall

The 2018 British Open champion came close again last week finishing 2nd which got her an automatic spot on the team. She has played in 2 Solheim’s before & at the last one had a 100% record winning all 4 of her matches & 3 of them with Celine Boutier who I’m sure will both be paired together again this time round. Similar to the Korda sisters for Europe the Americans will be looking to take points of them this year to dent the team confidence. Her record overall is 6 wins 3 loses.

Anna Nordqvist

The most recent major winner & Solheim veterans comes into this week still elated with her 3rd Major championship. All of team USA will want to take points of the British Open champion. She is the oldest player playing this week at just 34 & has played in 6 Solheim’s playing 23 matches. Her record is 12 wins 9 loses & 2 halves. She will be expected to give advice & guidance to all the team this year as she has the most experience of any of the team playing & the rookies will learn a lot from her this week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her paired up with Matilda Castren or Madelene Sagstrom this week.

Sophia Popov

It hasn’t been the best of years for Sophie results wise, but she is still an Open Champion & had a fantastic run in the match play which will give her plenty of confidence this week. Sophia didn’t play any of team USA in the match play but took out some of the world’s best such as Inbee Park, Patty Tavatanakit & Shanshan Feng on her route to the final where she lost to team USA player Ally Ewing. I’m sure she will be hoping for the same draw in the singles to get some payback. Even as a major winner Popov will be a rookie this year

Charley Hull

Charley is USA equivalent of Lexi; she is only 25 & has already played in 4 Solheim’s. She has the best record of any of team Europe who had played in more than 1 Solheim winning 9 halving 3 & just 3 loses. She seems to be very Poulter like where she doesn’t always do amazing in Strokeplay events but when it comes to the Solheim something clicks & she delivers points. The Solheim Postwoman. She will be the perfect partner for Leona Maguire this week to show her the ropes.

Carlota CIganda

Carlota is another player who hasn’t had a great year results wise. Just one top 10 all year but has made 14 cuts out of 17 event she has played so still plenty of ranking points earned. Its hard to believe her last victory was back in 2016. This will be her 5th Solheim this week & she has a great record from the previous 4 winning 6 halving 4 & has 6 loses. She played in all 5 games last time out & it’s likely she will be highly involved again this year.

Celine Boutier

A no brainer of a pick after her debut in 2019 winning every game she played. Herself & Georgia Hall were unplayable. 4 points from 4 she will be looking to add similar if not more points this year. The world no 65 is the 2nd lowest ranked player playing this week only Emily Pedersen is lower in the world rankings. I’m not quite sure how she isn’t higher she has had 4 top 10s in her last 8 starts one of those being at the PGA & has made 15cuts out of 18 starts. I can’t see her & Georgia being split up after their 2019 run they had.

Matilda Castren

Matilda had to go & win her home open to be eligible to play this Solheim cup which she went & did which shows what type of competitor she is. I’m very excited to see how she gets on this week & she should be another player who plays in all 5 matches. She has 2 wins to her name this year one on the LPGA & 1 on the LET. It only took her 15 starts on the LPGA to get a win & has been solid all year. The world no 47 has had 3 top 10s in 14 events. I can see her playing with another Scandinavian player this week to help her on the Rookie start.

Nanna Madsen

Nanna was so close to her maiden Major at the Open going down the 18th level with Anna, but it wasn’t to be & she will have plenty more opportunities down the line. Another of the 4 rookies this year for team Europe she will be looking to carry on her impressive form as of late. A T5 & T9 finish in her last 3 starts show her game is trending in the right direction & a win isn’t far away it would seem. Just 2 missed cuts from 15 starts show how well she has been performing each week.

Leona Maguire

What a season it has been for Leona, its just missing the maiden victory on the LPGA. The world no45 has made 14cuts from 16 events & has 5 top 10 finishes to her name. In her last 9 starts she hasn’t finished lower than 26th so she could be the most in form player on team Europe without a win. She played 2 of team USA in the match play group stage beating the eventual winner Ally Ewing & halved with Kupcho so can take plenty of positives from those results. Leona should be playing all 5 games even as a rookie as she is one of Europe’s strongest players & they will need her.

Mel Reid

Mrs Solheim Cup, she loves this event & couldn’t hide her delight after being selected for the team on her Instagram. ‘all jokes aside it will feel so good to be back inside the ropes this years & I don’t shy away from the fact that every 2 years this is always my goal’ this was after she wasn’t picked in 2019 & was handing out the water & snacks to other players as a vice captain. She got her maiden victory in 2020 at the ShopRite Classic, a win that was coming as she was in sensational form around that time. She has played in 3 Solheim’s over a 10-year period winning 4 games losing 6 & halving 2. Her experience will be vital to Team Europe this week.

Madelene Sagstrom

Madelene won at the very start of 2020 with the Gainbridge. Since then, she has had steady results & lead after the 1st round of the Olympics just a few weeks ago going on to finish 20th. She has made 13 cuts from 17 events & last time out at the British Open she had her best finish of the year finishing 2nd so comes into the Solheim full of confidence. In her previous appearance at the Solheim in 2017 she won her singles match but lost both her fourball matches.

@Golftipster5 Selections

Top Combined Points Scorer

Leona Maguire 14-1 4 Places

Georgia Hall 14-1 4 places

Yealimi Noh 20-1 4 Places

Ally Ewing 20-1 4 Places

Madelene Sagstrom 50-1 5 Places

Top European Points Scorer

Matilda Castren 9-1 3 Places

Top USA Points Scorer

Lizette Salas 10-1 3 Places

Double for Top Europe & USA 109-1 3 Places

Good Luck with all Bets

@golftipster5

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