Solheim Cup participants as they enter competition

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In this week's Stats and Stuff, Ward Clayton sizes up The Solheim Cup and looks back at some top finishes from the Navistar LPGA Classic.

 

Solheim Cup participants as they enter competition

A look at how the Solheim Cup team members have played recently entering this week's competition in Ireland:

 
UNITED STATES
Paula Creamer
Creamer, 25, has recorded two top-10s in her last four starts, with eight of 14 rounds in the 60s. She is 3-0 in Singles competition at the Solheim Cup and has lost only twice in 14 matches.
Vicky Hurst
Since being a captain's pick three weeks ago, the 21-year-old Solheim Cup rookie has finishes of T70, missed cut and T51 last week at the Navistar LPGA Classic.

Juli Inkster
The oldest player in team competition history at age 51 and also the first playing captain's assistant in Solheim history, Inkster came back from consecutive missed cuts to finish T14 at last week's Navistar LPGA Classic.

Cristie Kerr
The 33-year-old Kerr was the leading points earner for the United States and has recorded 10 top-10s this year (tied for first with Stacy Lewis and Yani Tseng), including a T4 and fourth before missing the cut at last week's Navistar LPGA Classic.
Christina Kim
Kim, 27, has struggled this year, with only two top-20 finishes, and missed consecutive cuts entering this week's Solheim Cup. However, she has a 5-2-1 career Solheim Cup record, including 2-0 in Singles.
Brittany Lang
Lang, 26, has three top-10s in her last five starts on the LPGA Tour, including a T4 with a final-round 67 at last week's Navistar LPGA Classic.
Brittany Lincicome
Lincicome, who turns 26 today (Sept. 20), has made every cut this season, won twice and finished first, T10 and T18 in her last three starts.
Stacy Lewis
The Solheim Cup rookie, 26, has 10 top-10s in 17 starts this season (tied for first on the LPGA Tour), including four consecutive entering this week's Solheim Cup.
Ryann O'Toole
The LPGA and Solheim Cup rookie, 24, was a captain's pick after a career-best T5 at the Safeway Classic, but has missed three consecutive cuts and failed to shoot par or better since being named to the team.
Morgan Pressel
Pressel, 23, is coming off a T8 with a final-round 67 at the Navistar LPGA Classic and has missed only two cuts all season.
Angela Stanford
Stanford, 33, has a T4 and a third in her last three starts, with the latter coming at the Navistar LPGA Classic thanks to a 69-69-66 finish.
Michelle Wie
Wie, 21, finished T2 at the CN Canadian Women's Open three weeks ago and has missed the cut and finished T68 the last two weeks. She had a 3-0-1 record as a rookie in 2009.

 
EUROPE
Christel Boeljon, Netherlands
Boeljon, 24, the first player from the Netherlands to qualify for the Solheim Cup, has finished T49, T18 and T34 the last three weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Laura Davies, England
Davies, 47, has played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990, the only player on either team this year who can claim that amount of experience. Davies has finishes of 27th, 45th and 38th the last three weeks on the Ladies European Tour.

Sandra Gal, Germany
Gal, 26, is making her first Solheim Cup start and is a captain's pick. Gal has finishes of T5 and T39 on the LPGA Tour the last two weeks, including a career-low 64 in the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship two weeks ago.

Sophie Gustafson, Sweden
Gustafson, 37, has finishes of T23, T55 and T56 over the past three weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Caroline Hedwall, Sweden
Hedwall, 22, is the youngest European Team member, a Solheim Cup rookie and a captain's pick. She has won three times on the Ladies European Tour this year, including a victory at the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open two weeks ago.
Maria Hjorth, Sweden
Hjorth, 37, will be making a fifth consecutive Solheim Cup start. She has made every LPGA Tour cut this year, won the Avnet LPGA Classic and has finishes of T61, T29 and T23 the last three weeks.
Catriona Matthew, Scotland
Matthew, 42, has fared well in her homeland, winning the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open just 11 weeks after the birth of her second child, and capturing the Aberdeen Scottish Open in last summer by 10 strokes. She placed T40 and T25 in her last two LPGA Tour starts.
Azahara Muñoz, Spain
Munoz, 23, is a Solheim Cup rookie and was a captain's selection this year. She was the 2010 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year and placed second to teammate Suzann Pettersen at the Ladies Irish Open, played at this year's Solheim Cup site. She has been T35, T25 and T51 in the last three weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Anna Nordqvist, Sweden
The 24-year old has been a pro for only three years, but has won twice on the LPGA Tour, both in her rookie year, 2009. She has three top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour this year, including a T29 and T48 in her last two LPGA Tour starts.
Suzann Pettersen, Norway
The 30-year old, ranked second in the Rolex World Rankings, was hot in late summer, winning the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle, the Solheim Cup site, and the Safeway Classic in consecutive starts in August. She has missed the cut and finished T10 and T25 in the last three weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Melissa Reid, England
The Solheim Cup rookie, who turned 24 on Monday, led the European points list and was the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2008. She has three career Ladies European Tour victories - two this season, including last week's Open de Espana on the Ladies European Tour.
Karen Stupples, England
Stupples, 38, was a captain's pick and is making her second Solheim Cup start. She finished T4 at last week's Navistar LPGA Classic.

Solheim Cup notes

Laura Davies (11 events, 43 matches) and Juli Inkster (8 events, 31 matches) have the most career Solheim Cup appearances and matches played for Europe and the U.S., respectively. However, they have never met in a Singles match…Davies needs one match win to tie Annika Sorenstam for most career matches won and one-half point to tie Sorenstam for most points earned…Inkster has earned the most career points (6 ½) in Singles….The U.S. is the three-time defending champion, the longest streak in Solheim Cup history.

Thompson joins young elite with victory

When Alexis Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic last Sunday in Alabama, she became the LPGA Tour's youngest winner and the youngest in a professional tour event in the United States. At age 16 years, 7 months and 8 days, Thompson was one month older than Amy Yang (16 years, 6 months and 8 days) when the South Korean won the ANZ Ladies Masters in Australia on the Ladies European Tour as an amateur on Feb. 5, 2006. Yang now plays on the LPGA Tour and finished T25 at last week's Navistar. Ryo Ishikawa was 15 years and 8 months old when he captured the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup as an amateur on the Japan Golf Tour in May 2007.

Here's a look at the youngest winners on various tours, with all but one still playing today:

PLAYER TOUR WIN AGE
Ryo Ishikawa Japan Golf Tour 2007 KSB Cup 15 years, 8 months
Amy Yang Ladies European Tour 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters 16 years, 6 months, 8 days
Alexis Thompson LPGA Tour 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic 16 years, 7 months, 8 days
Matteo Manassero European Tour 2010 Castello Masters 17 years, 188 days
Jason Day Nationwide Tour 2007 Legends Financial Group Classic 19 years, 7 months, 26 days
Johnny McDermott PGA Tour 1911 U.S. Open 19 years, 10 months, 14 days


Young winners on the LPGA


Through 18 events this season, the average winner's age has been 25.8 years. This includes the oldest winner (Maria Hjorth, Avnet, age 37) and the youngest (Alexis Thompson, Navistar, age 16). Only three winners have been in their 30s (Karrie Webb, age 36, a two-time winner; Suzann Pettersen, 30, a two-time winner; and Hjorth). The rest have been in their 20s or teens. Yani Tseng, 22, has the most wins, five, including two major championships. The other two major championship winners were age 26 (Stacy Lewis, Kraft Nabisco) and age 21 (So Yeon Ryu, U.S. Women's Open).


Joh's big surge


Tiffany Joh has surged recently in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. The San Diego resident and former UCLA golfer finished a career-best second at the Navistar LPGA Classic last Sunday and has missed only two cuts in 10 starts this season. That includes six consecutive made cuts. Joh, 24, ranks second in the 2011 Rolex Rookie of the Year rankings with 257 points, behind U.S. Women's Open runner-up Hee Kyung Seo of South Korea (514).

Topics: Notes, Creamer, Paula, Hurst, Vicky, Inkster, Juli, Kerr, Cristie, Kim, Christina, Lang, Brittany, Lincicome, Brittany, Lewis, Stacy, Pressel, Morgan, Stanford, Angela, Wie, Michelle, Boeljon, Christel, Davies, Laura, Gal, Sandra [+]

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