Neumann named Caroline Hedwall (Sweden), Jodi Ewart-Shadoff (England), Giulia Sergas (Italy) and Charley Hull (England) as her four ‘wild card’ picks for this month’s Solheim Cup, which will be played August 16-18, 2013, at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado.
They will join Suzann Pettersen (Norway), Carlota Ciganda (Spain), Catriona Matthew (Scotland), Caroline Masson (Germany), Beatriz Recari (Spain), Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Karine Icher (France) and Azahara Munoz (Spain) in defending The Solheim Cup, when Europe attempt to win for the first time in the United States.
Based on the final Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup standings, the top-four players who automatically qualified through points were: Pettersen, Ciganda, Matthew and Masson.
The next four players who qualified based on the Rolex Rankings were: Recari, Nordqvist, Icher and Munoz.
The European squad features six Solheim Cup rookies (Ewart-Shadoff, Sergas, Hull, Ciganda, Masson and Recari) and five players from the victorious team of 2011 (Hedwall, Pettersen, Matthew, Nordqvist and Munoz).
Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall was a member of the victorious 2011 Solheim Cup team as a rookie and won a crucial half point in the Sunday singles that secured a 15-13 victory for Europe over America in the 12th Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle in Co. Meath, Ireland.
Charley Hull, a rookie in her first year as a professional on the Ladies European Tour, recorded five straight runner-up finishes at the start of the season and becomes the youngest player in Solheim Cup history, aged 17 years, four months and 15 days, at the time of the announcement.
Sergas will also make her Solheim Cup debut. She has four top ten finishes on the LPGA and one top ten on the LET so far this season, including a tie for seventh at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and a tie for fourth at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Ewart-Shadoff completes the four captain’s picks. She turned professional in 2010 and played on the Symetra Tour - The Road to the LPGA in 2010 and 2011 before winning LET Final Qualifying School for 2012. This year on the LPGA, she has posted three top ten finishes, including a tie for fourth at the US Women’s Open and tied seventh at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, both major championships.
“It was a tough day obviously having to make some of the phone calls and talking to some of the players. But I feel really comfortable and very confident with these four players that I picked. They totally complete our team and I'm super happy about our picks,” said Neumann.
On attempting to win for the first time in America, she added: “Obviously we've never won over there, so it's obviously a big challenge. You know, I feel like this is really the team that's going to do it for us.
“We've got some young girls on here; we've got some rookies, so we've got some big, strong players, and some players that can really hit it, which I think favours. In Colorado, the golf course is quite generous off the tees, and looking for good, long hitters and some girls with great energy, and I think this is the team that's going to do it.”
The U.S. Team seeks to keep their undefeated record on home soil intact when the biennial match-play competition begins just 12 days from now.
United States Captain Meg Mallon revealed Gerina Piller and Michelle Wie as her captain’s picks.
Based on the final U.S. Solheim Cup standings, the top-eight players who automatically qualified for the team via a points race that began at the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open are (listed in order of points ranking): Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Brittany Lang. The two highest ranked players not in the top-8 spots on the points list who qualified via the Rolex Rankings are No. 19 Lizette Salas and No. 41 Morgan Pressel.
Lexi Thompson becomes the youngest ever Solheim Cup team member aged 18 years, five months and 25 days.
“I’m just thrilled to finally have my team announced,” Mallon said. “I have 12 players who I am very excited to have on this team. They have all played their hearts out over the last two years.”
Wie will make her third appearance on the U.S. Solheim Cup Team with a 4-3-1 all-time record in the event.
“I am so happy and so honored and so grateful to be a captain’s pick,” Wie said. “To play under Meg and be with all the girls again, it’s a dream come true.”
Piller is making her first appearance in The Solheim Cup. “I feel a thousand emotions, but I’m just honoured to be considered and ecstatic to be picked,” Piller said.
Following the announcement, both teams gathered on the 18th fairway of The Old Course, St. Andrews, for an historic photograph on the Swilcan Bridge.
Topics: Solheim Cup