With a Solheim Cup record of 14-8-5, veteran Paula Creamer was the stand out alternate pick for Juli Inkster, after Jessica Korda pulled out due to injury.
Korda had initially qualified via the Solheim Cup points standings but her withdrawal has paved the way for Creamer to make her seventh appearance for Team USA.
“My thinking was, okay, I need someone that's been there, because if Jessica pulls out on Tuesday of the Solheim Cup and I fly someone in that's never been in that situation, it could really be tough on them,” Inkster said. “I don't want to put someone in a situation where I don't think they can handle it.
The selection came with much debate as to whether Creamer deserved a place on the team with four top-10s over the last two years, which left her at 16th in the points standings and 122nd in the Rolex Rankings.
Despite having several other options with Mo Martin and Angela Stanford ranked higher, Inkster felt Creamer had done enough to make the team.
“It was really between Paula and Angela Stanford. And I just felt Paula was probably playing a little bit better and has played on more Solheim Cup teams," Inkster explained.
"Her (Creamer’s) record's a little better. And she's really good in alternate shot, that I could come and put her in in any pod or anything and she would be able to adapt.”
In 2015, Creamer picked up just three top-10s and found herself near the bottom of the leaderboard most weeks. However, she was a captain's pick who rose to the occasion, picking up two wins for her side. This included an all-important 4&3 victory over Sandra Gal in the Sunday singles, as Team USA staged a historical comeback.
Creamer does comes into this year’s Solheim in better form than she did in 2015, with a T-13 finish at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and a T-16 finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. But the last minute surge wasn't enough to earn her a captain’s pick.
“It's not the best situation to be in, because I had to tell her I didn't pick her and I had to let her yell at me for a little bit. And then I told her but would you…[be an alternate] and she said yes,” Inkster added.
But her Solheim record speaks for itself, and it is one that Inkster could not ignore. Form goes out of the window during Solheim week and Creamer will be looking to improve on her already impressive record when representing her country.