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Brent Kelley

Team Rosters Set for 2013 Solheim Cup: Rookies, Youngsters and Wie, Oh My

By August 4, 2013

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The Women's British Open was the last chance for European and American golfers to stake a claim for a spots on the 2013 Solheim Cup. And hours after the WBO ended, Team Europe captain Liselotte Neumann and Team USA captain Meg Mallon revealed their full team rosters, including both the automatic qualifiers and their captain's picks.

The Solheim Cup takes place this year at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., in just two weeks, Aug. 16-18.

Here are the automatic qualifiers:
  • Team Europe: Suzann Petterson, Carlota Ciganda, Catriona Matthew, Caroline Masson, Beatriz Recari, Anna Nordqvist, Karine Icher, Azahara Munoz
  • Team USA: Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Brittany Lang, Lizette Salas, Morgan Pressel

And here are the captain's picks:
  • Team Europe: Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Caroline Hedwall, Giulia Sergas, Charley Hull
  • Team USA: Michelle Wie, Gerina Piller

And this is what the teams look like side-by-side:

Team Europe
Suzann Petterson
Carlota Ciganda
Catriona Matthew
Caroline Masson
Beatriz Recari
Anna Nordqvist
Karine Icher
Azahara Munoz
Jodi Ewart-Shadoff
Caroline Hedwall
Giulia Sergas
Charley Hull
Team USA
Stacy Lewis
Paula Creamer
Cristie Kerr
Angela Stanford
Brittany Lincicome
Lexi Thompson
Jessica Korda
Brittany Lang
Lizette Salas
Morgan Pressel
Michelle Wie
Gerina Piller

Six of the members of the European team are Solheim Cup rookies: Ewart-Shadoff, Sergas, Hull, Ciganda, Masson and Recari.

Four of the members of Team USA are Solheim Cup rookies: Thompson, Korda, Salas and Piller.

The names that will jump out at most people, from among the captain's picks, are Charley Hull and Michelle Wie.

Hull is not just a Solheim Cup rookie, but a rookie pro. She's only 17 years old, after all. She becomes the youngest player in Solheim Cup history at age 17 years, four months and 15 days. A year ago, at the 2012 Curtis Cup, Hull won her singles match in a tournament that Great Britain & Ireland won by a single point.

Hull went through Ladies European Tour Q-School and earned her membership for 2013. And she finished in second place in each of her first four LET starts as a professional! That's quite a start. She's cooled since then, with two 40ths, a ninth, and a missed cut at the Women's British Open. But Hull is still fourth on the LET Order of Merit.

Is it risky picking Hull? You bet. How is a 17-year-old who, let's face it, hasn't actually won anything, going to handle the Solheim Cup cauldron? But I like the pick. Solheim Cup captains often are far too cautious, in my opinion, with their wildcards, falling prey to the "proven veteran" syndrome; I like that Neumann went out on a limb and picked the young hotshot. There's no question that Hull is a major talent with a bright future.

And Wie? If you want to argue that Wie isn't playing well, that she, too, is a risky pick, that maybe "think about the ratings" was in the minds of some who were whispering in Mallon's ear, well, I won't tell you you're out of line.

But it's not like Mallon had a ton of options, and none of the options she did have jump out and scream, "it should have been me!" Also, Wie's best finishes this year - a pair of ninths plus a 16th - have happened since the start of June. Jennifer Johnson - who's been better than Wie overall this year, went into the WBO ninth on the points list, and is higher-ranked than Wie - has three missed cuts since the start of June. Wie has a winning record in two Solheim appearances, and Mallon has been a supporter of Michelle's going back many years. I would have picked Johnson, but Wie's selection isn't any kind of scandal.

Also of note: This will be the first Solheim Cup ever without Laura Davies. And Sophie Gustafson, with eight appearances, missed out, too.

So now we know the team rosters. Which side has the best team?

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