There’s no need to remind Christina Kim it’s a Solheim Cup year.
“I think anybody that says it’s not in their mind is lying, because it’s plastered everywhere,” Kim said Wednesday. “You can’t avoid it.”
The three-time U.S. team member is on the bubble for this year’s event, which gets underway this September in Germany. Kim is currently ranked 15th in the standings and would likely need a Captain’s Pick in order to make the team. The top eight in the standings automatically qualify, with two places going to those in the Rolex Rankings not already qualified, and the final two spots are given to those selected by captain Juli Inkster. The team will be finalized in August after the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.
Each week points are earned by players finishing in the top-20, a place Kim found herself four times in 2014 but just once so far this season. Her best finish coming in a T-11 at the ANA Inspiration.
“If I have to finish in eighth place, you know, in this tournament in order to get in the points or move up in the rankings or this, I can’t,” Kim said. “I’m not here to think about that. The only thing that I can control is what I do with my golf ball.”
Kim earned her way onto her first Solheim Cup team in 2005 with five top-10 finishes that year. She also won in 2004 at the Longs Drugs Challenge and recorded four more top-10’s. Worrying about making the team wasn’t a concern for Kim, knowing she played well enough to earn a spot. It wasn’t until two years later that she began to wonder.
“I know I was thinking about it a lot more in the 2007 Solheim Cup where I didn’t make the team,” Kim said. “And then in 2009 when we were at Rich Harvest Farms, I knew I had to play well to maintain my position, but we were at the British Open which I absolutely love going and playing in. So you know, I said I’m just going to have fun. I’m going to play well and then whatever happens, happens.”
Kim finished T-3 at the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open, earning an automatic spot on the team with a sixth place finish in the standings. Then struggling with injury and depression in 2011, Kim barely made her way onto the team, earning the 10th and final automatic spot.
“The 2011 one was a little weird because I was going through so much stuff in my life,” Kim said. “I was like you know what, I have too many things on my table. I have no place for this.”
Kim played anyway, going 1-0-1 for the week as the Americans lost to Europe for the first time since 2003. Unable to qualify or receive a Captain’s Pick in 2013, Kim is hoping her play will earn her a spot on this year’s team.
“Obviously Solheim Cup is something that I would love to be part of again,” Kim said. “It’s something that you know, it changes golf for me every time I play in it.”
Kim will have another opportunity to earn points this week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, but says she’s not letting the Cup dictate her play.
“My main goal is just to play well and then wherever the chips fall that’s the hand I’m going to be playing.”
Kim finished runner-up in this event last year. She teed off the 10th tee of the Bay Course at 8:17am Friday morning, grouped with Anna Nordqvist and Angela Stanford.