The 2017 Solheim Cup – The Team Captains’ Credentials
The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest events in women’s golf. The biennial competition pits some of the best female golfers in the United States against some of the most talented in Europe. In 2017, the teams will be headed up by two of the most successful players in recent years, so the competition is sure to be intense.
Juli Inkster has been chosen as captain of the American team, and will be hoping to lead them to glory on home soil. Inkster has raised plenty of prestigious golf trophies aloft during her career, so she knows exactly what it takes to win.
She was victorious in seven majors, the last of which was the US Women’s Open in 2002. Inkster is no stranger to Solheim Cup success either. She was a non-playing captain in 2015, when the United States defeated Europe by 14.5 to 13.5.
Her European counterpart, Annika Sorenstam, is another highly respected name in women’s golf, however, so Inkster’s experience won’t guarantee her team the win. Sorenstam won ten majors before retiring, and made history in 2003, when she became the first female player to participate in a PGA Tour since 1945.
Will the 2017 Solheim Cup Competition be Controversy-Free?
Both captains will be hoping that their teams can avoid getting embroiled in the sort of controversy that marred the 2015 edition of the event. During the competition, America’s Alison Lee picked her ball up on the seventeenth green, thinking that Europe’s Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen had conceded. Pettersen, however, insisted that they hadn’t, and the officials took her side. The points awarded gave Europe a 10-6 lead, but the Americans fought back to claim the silverware.
Pettersen and Hull will both be playing for Europe again this year and, while Alison Lee will not be playing for the United States, her teammate in that round, Brittany Lincicombe has been selected. Last month, Sorenstam stated that she would be speaking to her team about the matter in the run-up to the competition, but that everyone wanted to move on from it.
“The Solheim Cup should be a showcase for the best of women’s golf but what happened there overshadowed it,” she told bunkered.co.uk. “So, I will address the importance of maintaining your sportsmanship but I don’t feel I will have to say much about it.”
While both team captains boast impressive golfing records, the result of the tournament will ultimately come down to the performance of the players on the greens.
The US team includes a host of stars such as Danielle Kang, who won the Women’s PGA Championship in July, and Michelle Wie, who won the US Women’s Open in 2014. The European squad also features some outstanding talents, however, including Anna Nordqvist, who won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2009, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who finished second in the Women’s British Open earlier this month.
Which team do you think will win the Solheim Cup this year? Let us know in the comments section, on Twitter or on Facebook.