By Ladies European Tour
PARKER, Colo., USA, Aug. 13, 2013 – Caroline Masson summed up the sentiments of all rookies at the start of Solheim week. “I’m so excited and super happy,” said the 24-year-old German. “It’s a dream come true to be here.”
All the Europeans were in buoyant mood as they looked forward to defending the Cup at Colorado Golf Club – and making a bid for history by becoming the first European team to win on US soil.
“That’s our goal, to beat the Americans and keep the Cup,” said Caroline Hedwall, who made her debut in the winning team at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago.
The start of the week is all about making the rookies feel at home, and Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen, both veterans of six Solheim Cups, have been helping put the six newcomers at ease.
“There are so many spectators here and it’s only Tuesday,” continued a wide-eyed Masson. “Everything has been amazing from the moment I opened my hotel room door on Sunday and saw so many gifts.”
Matthew has no doubt that the six new names – Masson, Beatriz Recari, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Carlota Ciganda, Guilia Sergas and 17-year-old Charley Hull – will perform to their very best.
“They are rookies, but they have all played at the highest level,” said the Scot. “It’s not as though they are new to pressure and I know they will be fine.”
Azahara Munoz played with Matthew in the foursomes at Killeen Castle, and they won the first and halved the second. “The two years have passed very quickly,” said the Spaniard. “But now I can’t wait to get started.”
All the Europeans agree that form on the greens is going to be the key this week. Playing at altitude, Hedwall reckons the ball flies 10% further but she knows the club that is going to be the most important this week.
”You need to make birdies and you need to be hot with the putter,” she said.