With the start of the Solheim Cup one week away, the participants are practicing this week to prepare for the annual team competition between the United States and Europe. Here’s a look at team members from both sides and the status of their golf games entering the event in Colorado:
Stacy Lewis: Lewis is the leader of this team because of her three wins this season including last week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open triumph. She has top-seven finishes in four of her last five starts and finished with 64s in each of her previous tournaments prior to the win at St. Andrews.
Paula Creamer: The most consistent player on the LPGA over the last year. Creamer has made 59 consecutive cuts, the longest current streak on the LPGA (Karrie Webb’s streak ended at 57 when she missed the cut at the Ricoh Women’s British Open) and has finished in the top seven in three of her last five starts. Plus she’s 11-3-5 in Solheim Cup competition.
Cristie Kerr: Since winning the Kingsmill Championship in early May, Kerr has contended in nearly every start, with the worst finish a T20 at the U.S. Women’s Open. Along with Europe’s Suzann Pettersen, Kerr has played in more Solheim Cups (six) than any of this year’s participants.
Angela Stanford: Stanford made a last-minute dash to Scotland to play in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and also to join her Solheim Cup teammates for the journey back to the United States. She finished T17 after opening 69-70 and had a strong run in the weeks prior – T4, 2 and T5.
Brittany Lincicome: Despite uneven play lately (only one top-10 this season), Lincicome’s length off the tee (third this season) is helpful for teammates in doubles play. Plus, her tee ball will travel farther at altitude in Colorado.
Lexi Thompson: A rookie on the U.S. team, her combination of power (second in Driving Distance at 270.6 yards) and under-par scoring (10 eagles, second on the LPGA) overcomes a season where she has been up and down (three top 10s).
Jessica Korda: Another U.S. rookie who has put together a consistent season (five top-10s). She also is sixth in Driving Distance (266.7) and ninth in Greens in Regulation (74 percent).
Brittany Lang: The third-time Solheim Cup participant has struggled this year (one top-10) but has excelled in Solheim Cup singles with a win and a tie.
Lizette Salas: The Solheim Cup rookie has yet to win on the LPGA but has recorded five top-10s this season, including a sixth-place finish last week at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Morgan Pressel: Finally injury free, Pressel rallied this summer to make the U.S. team. She finished T3 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship and T4 last week at the Ricoh Women’s British Open where she led entering the final round. Pressel has a 3-0-0 record in Solheim Cup Singles and a 7-2-2 overall mark.
Gerina Piller: The fourth rookie on the team, Piller steadily climbed the rankings with five top-10 finishes throughout the year. Her length (268.5-yard average, fourth on the LPGA) adds another bomber to the U.S. squad.
Michelle Wie: Wie hasn’t contended the last three weeks but played steadily enough to make three consecutive cuts and earn a Captain’s Pick from U.S. Captain Meg Mallon. Like Lincicome, Thompson, Korda and Piller, her length could be a factor.
Suzann Pettersen (Norway): Pettersen is making her seventh Solheim Cup start and is the emotional leader of the Europeans. She started playing in this event as a 21-year-old in 2002. She is coming off consecutive top-10s (T6 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and T4 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open). She is 11-5-3 in team play at the Solheim Cup.
Carlota Ciganda (Spain): The rookie is one of three Spaniards on the European team (Beatriz Recari and Azahara Munoz). Ciganda plays mainly on the Ladies European Tour but did play collegiately at Arizona State where she was teammates with Munoz.
Catriona Matthew (Scotland): The veteran of the competition has totaled 15 points over the years, the most on this year’s European team. She is 5-1-0 in Singles play.
Caroline Masson (Germany): Another European rookie who played on two European Junior Solheim Cup teams. In 2005, the junior European team included Masson, Ciganda, Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz and Anna Nordvist. She played one season at Oklahoma State before turning pro.
Beatriz Recari (Spain): Recari has won twice on the LPGA this season and is making her first Solheim Cup start. She won the Kia Classic in March and the Marathon Classic three weeks ago.
Anna Nordqvist (Sweden): This will be Nordvist’s third Solheim Cup. She is unbeaten (2-0) with Pettersen in four-ball (better ball). She has four top-10s and hasn’t missed a cut on the LPGA this season.
Karine Icher (France): It’s been 11 years since Icher went 1-2-0 at the 2002 Solheim Cup. She has recorded nine top-10 finishes on the LPGA in the last two seasons.
Azahara Munoz (Spain): Munoz has had a poor season on the LPGA (one top-10 and two consecutive missed cuts entering next week). But in the 2011 Solheim Cup victory for the Europeans, she beat Angela Stanford 1-up to secure the winning point.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England): Ewart Shadoff is making her first Solheim Cup appearance, earned by recording two top-10 finishes in June and July. She ranks fourth on the LPGA in Greens in Regulation (75 percent).
Caroline Hedwall (Sweden): Hedwall was on the winning 2011 Solheim Cup team. As an Oklahoma State student, she won the 2010 NCAA Women’s Championship in Wilmington, N.C.
Giulia Sergas (Italy): Sergas was a Captain’s Pick despite missing the cut in four of her last five LPGA starts. The rookie choice had three consecutive top-10s earlier this season and has made eight eagles this year (ranked third).
Charley Hull (England): At age 17, Hull will be the youngest competitor in Solheim Cup history. She surpasses Paula Creamer (age 19 in 2005). She has four runner-up finishes in her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour and is making her first start as a professional in the United States.