Large crowds are expected at Des Moines Golf and Country Club, Iowa, this week, with the first tee set to be the loudest and most exciting a Solheim Cup has ever seen.
But with seven rookies featuring at this year’s USA vs Europe showdown, just how will they cope with the pressure?
Team USA features three rookies in Danielle Kang, Austin Ernst and Angel Yin, with Georgia Hall, Florentyna Parker, Emily Pedersen and Madelene Sagstrom making up the four first-timers on Team Europe.
Paula Creamer described how she couldn’t walk from the putting green to the first tee without her playing partner Beth Daniel – even though she was teeing off on the even holes.
However, for Team USA rookies Danielle Kang and Angel Yin, they couldn’t have seemed less nervous if they tried during their press conference alongside Michelle Wie and Lizette Salas.
The rookie duo were all laughs and smiles, and seemed to be embracing their first appearance at a Solheim Cup.
“So far as a rookie, nothing’s been too crazy, to be honest,” Kang said. “Getting all the cool stuff is really awesome. I’m getting a lot of gear everyday. Every time I open the door there’s a present outside. It’s really cool. It’s like Christmas every day.
“What I’m looking forward to is the vibe that I get that everyone talks about. The first-tee experience, the fan vibe, everything that’s supposedly really amazing about Soheim, I haven’t experienced it so I’m really excited to be part of it when the tournament starts.”
The noise the American fans will make on the first tee is something both Kang and Yin are looking forward to, with Yin admitting she’s been trying to get the crowd going a few days early.
“Honestly, when people ask me, what are you going to feel? I don’t know,” Yin said. “Because right now there’s not as many people on the first tee.
“When we see people in the bleachers we make them scream. We try to get that feeling. But when we’re on the first tee (Friday), it’s going to be completely different. After Friday I’ll tell you how I feel.”
The Scandinavian duo of Pedersen and Sagstrom also seemed relaxed in the build up the first matches on Friday, describing the nerves that come with the first tee at a Solheim Cup as exciting. “Everybody keeps saying deep breaths,” Sagstrom said. “It’s going to be loud, and hopefully a lot of singing.
“I enjoy the nervousness. I want to keep those butterflies. I believe it puts you on a different edge. I’m looking forward to the butterflies, so I’m very excited about that.”
For her teammate Pedersen, who has played Junior Solheim Cup, she is also looking forward to the occasion.
“Everyone says you can’t really prepare for it because there’s nothing like it,” Pedersen said. “But I’ll try and take it all in and, yeah, deep breaths and hopefully hit the ball.
“I usually don’t get really nervous. I’m normally pretty confident and pretty relaxed going into a tournament. I probably will be a bit more (nervous) here because it’s obviously different with people cheering for you or not cheering for you. But I hope it will be fun.”
With the young rookies yet to experience a Friday morning first tee atmosphere, it will be interesting to see how they cope with this unique experience.