That’s eight more chances for a player to make their move in the Rolex Rankings or earn enough points to secure their spot on their respective teams.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, who is a two-time Solheim Cup veteran, is hoping to do just that in these next couple weeks, but she knows she’s not the only one competitively seeking to put her name on the European roster.
“I definitely think it’s a lot more intense now out on Tour for the last couple months,” said Nordqvist of the atmosphere on Tour this year. “You just never know what can happen. A player who might not have been on the team now could win a couple tournaments and suddenly be on the team. These next few weeks we’re all pushing the pedal and trying our best.”
As the competition has heated up on the European side this season, Norqvist finds herself bouncing in and out of the mix which stirs even more aggression to perform well. So far this season the Swede has tallied two top-10 finishes, but says she’ll be pushing herself even more in the next two months.
“I think it’s really exciting to see so many Europeans playing well,” said Nordqvist. “I know my spot is never secure until that final tournament, and I think that makes you want to work harder. Everyone is kind of pushing each other. So I think that’s pushing me to work on my game and mentally prepare for it. I not only want to make the team but I also want to help Europe win.”
In 2009, Nordqvist played on her first Solheim Cup team as a rookie on the LPGA Tour after claiming an early victory and her first major championship title at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola.
Although a bit shy and still trying to find her place on the Tour at the time, she says becoming a part of the Solheim Cup team was the highlight of her season and hopes to pass on her knowledge as a seasoned veteran.
“I felt really welcomed and a part of the team,” says Nordqvist. “I had never really played much match play and a lot of people didn’t know me. But my team helped me feel comfortable and that I deserved my spot on the team.
“The next time around, I felt like I could pass along my experiences since I was a veteran. I think it definitely helps knowing everything that’s going to happen that week and also when the heat of the battle comes around that you have some moments when you take risks, hit great shots and make winning putts, that’s huge to have when you come back to be on more Solheim Cup teams.”
Teams will be determined after the playing of the RICOH Women’s British Open, which will leave just one week to prepare for the U.S. vs. Europe battle. Knowing this, Nordqvist plans to make proper adjustments to her game well before the European team heads to the Colorado Country Club in August.
“Once the team is determined you kind of have to have your form ready because it’s just right around the corner,” said Nordqvist. “I just try to work on my fitness. It’s is a hilly course and the altitude is going to make it even tougher. I just try to stick to my routines and stay in shape and work a little extra on my game. When the team is selected there’s not really any time to make any changes or huge adjustments.”
After playing an integral role on the victorious European Solheim Cup team in 2011 at Killeen Castle in Ireland, Norqvist finds herself eager to be a part of the title defense.
“Just going there and having a chance to defend our title is the most exciting part,” said Nordqvist. “I know the Americans are very pumped up so I know a lot of the players are talking and trying to get everyone in the U.S. pumped up and they seem really focused on the Solheim Cup this year. I think the most exciting part is our chance to beat them on home soil.”