So now we know who’s on the European Solheim Cup team, and that gives me something to think about. But I only know two-thirds of my squad and that gives me even more to think about. There sure is a lot on the line for the gals at the CP Women’s Open.
For her four Captain’s Picks, Catriona Matthew went with two rookies – Bronte Law and Celine Boutier – who are both proven winners. She added Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who’s played in the Solheim Cup twice, and then went with the most-experienced player available to her – Suzann Pettersen, making her ninth appearance.
Of the eight who qualified automatically for Europe, only Anne van Dam has never been in the heat of this competition. Georgia Hall has been there once but Carlota Ciganda, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Azahara Munoz and Caroline Masson all have three appearances while Anna Nordqvist has five.
They’ve got a very good team, a very veteran team with only three rookies. They are going to know what to expect and they are all playing well. They are peaking at the right time. I’ll tell you what, I wish I had my picks done.
I have seven players who have earned a spot off the Solheim Cup points list and it looks like Angel Yin has locked up one of the two Rolex Rankings spots. That leaves two automatic spots up for grabs – Brittany Altomare has a 7-point lead over Ally McDonald for the eighth and final points spot.
The other spot is off the Rolex Rankings. Yin is No. 32 while Altomare is No. 39. But lurking are Austin Ernst (41), Annie Park (42), Angela Stanford (47) and Amy Olson (48).
And then I have my two Captain’s Picks. What I need in Canada is for someone to step up. I’ve had a couple of players step up lately and I’ve had a couple that have played well all year that deserve to be on the team.
I’ve been in the position of trying to make the team and it’s hard. Golf is hard enough, but playing for a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team is something else. But it’s going to be hard playing in Scotland. I hope I see a few players in Canada show me they have what it takes to play over there.
There are a lot of familiar faces on the American side that may not be making the trip to Scotland, but I really haven’t counted anyone out. Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis have been on my radar all year and have both had a few good tournaments. They have to show me something this week and I think they know it.
The bottom line is that I have to pick the players who will help the team. I owe it to the other 10 players to give them the best teammates possible, the ones who will give them the best chance to win. Are my picks going to be perfect? I don’t know.
I just want the team finalized. I have a lot of pairing question marks, too, that I am trying to figure out. I’d like to have the team done so I can start making a game plan.
And while this part is hard – waiting to know who my team is – the hardest part will be when I sit down with a few players and tell them, “You came close, but didn’t make it.” That’s just so hard.
But my gals are all professionals in every sense of the word. They have had two years to make the team and I’ve been telling them all along, “Don’t leave it up to me. Play your way onto the team.” They know that if they don’t make it, they had their chance.
Shortly after the CP Women’s Open, the two-year grind of the selection process will be over. Shortly after that, I’ll announce my Captain’s Picks.
Then comes the next challenge – going to Scotland and coming back to the United States with the Solheim Cup. I've played in nine Solheim Cups and have been Captain in two others and I'm as excited about this one as I was about the first one.