European Solheim Cup team adds four captain’s picks

European Solheim Cup team adds four captain's picks

Suzann Pettersen is a veteran of nine Solheim Cup teams, but the legendary Norwegian leaned on those who came before her as Team Europe’s captain in selecting her four captain’s picks for the 2023 team.

Pettersen, 42, said she had very difficult decisions to make because of the strength of the players across Europe.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of past captains over the last year, over the last month as well,” Pettersen told Sky Sports in announcing her captain’s picks Tuesday. “The last word of wisdom I get is, ‘trust your gut.’

“That’s easier said than done, because I’ve been going back and forth, back and forth, double checking. I feel like we’ve lifted every stone to see how we can best puzzle this team together.”

In the end, Pettersen went with a mix of experience and youth in filling out her roster.

Her first captain’s pick was Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who will compete in her third Solheim Cup. She will be joined by rookie Gemma Dryburgh from Scotland, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall making her fifth appearance and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen making her third.

“I never thought it was going to be this challenging but when you have so many great players to choose from, at the end I did go with my instinct,” Pettersen said. “We’ll see how that plays out, but I’m very happy with the lineup that we have.”

The four captain’s picks will be joined by eight automatic qualifiers: Celine Boutier (France), Maja Stark (Sweden), Charley Hull (England), Leona Maguire (Ireland), Georgia Hall (England), Linn Grant (Sweden), Carlota Ciganda, (Spain) and Anna Nordqvist (Sweden).

“We’ve never had a stronger team on paper, rankings-wise,” Pettersen said. “It’s not something that we are making up, it’s fact on paper.

“I guess we just got to get used to it, because the talent coming through Europe is so strong.”

The 2023 Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Casares, near Malaga, Spain. The event begins on Sept. 22 with two days featuring four Foursome matches and 4 Fourball matches and concludes with 12 singles matches on Sunday.

Europe needs 14 points to retain the Cup for the third consecutive time, having won 14 1/2-13 1/2 in Scotland in 2019 and 15-13 in Ohio two years ago. Europe can win the Cup outright with 14 1/2 points.

“You can always try to make it a huge advantage to one side or the other but at the end of the day, by Friday morning both teams have figured out how to play the course,” Pettersen said. “These girls are professionals, they are the best in the class, so I think it’s going to be a fair and golf course.

“I can’t wait for that Friday morning. It’s going to be buzzing, it’s going to be energy, it’s going to be crowds, it’s going to be songs, it’s going to be loud.

“We will be prepared.”

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.