The 17th edition of the Solheim Cup begins on Saturday at the famed Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Originally designed by Donald Ross, the championship course features sloped and elevated greens with undulation that will test the top players from the United States and Europe as they each compete for their country. The team match-play competition includes eight foursome, eight four-ball and 12 singles matches.
For the first time in the history of the event, the first-tee atmosphere will also encompass the 10th tee box as teams make the turn for the back nine. The first two American qualifiers, Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang, each clinched a spot earlier this summer, with Ally Ewing joining the U.S. team two weeks ago. Team rosters were completed after the AIG Women’s Open following a two-year performance period. With the excitement building this week, here’s a look at the teams and history of the Solheim Cup.
The host country has enjoyed the home-course advantage, winning 12 of the last 16 times or 75% of the time. The Americans are seven-for-eight on home soil, compared to the Europeans record of five-for-eight in their homelands. The lone win for Europe in the United States was in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club, where an eight-point victory still stands as the largest margin of victory for the winning country since the event began in 1990. This will be the sixth time a Midwest state hosts the Solheim Cup and the second time being played in Ohio following a visit to Muirfield Village Golf Club in 1998. The Americans have won by at least three points in each of the previous five playing’s in the Midwest.
American Wins in the Midwest
Solheim Cup History
|STATE||MARGIN OF VICTORY|
|1998 Muirfield Village Golf Club||
|2002 Interlachen Country Club||Minnesota||3 points|
|2005 Crooked Stick Golf Club||Indiana||3 points|
|2009 Rich Harvest Farms||Illinois||4 points|
|2017 Des Moines Golf and Country Club||Iowa||5 points|
The European team has a combined total of 22 appearances entering the 2021 Solheim Cup compared to the U.S. team with 17. This will be the fifth appearance for Lexi Thompson, Lizette Salas, Charley Hull and Carlota Ciganda, who have all played in the previous four Solheim Cups. Anna Nordqvist has the most experience between the two teams, making her seventh appearance since 2009, and is the only three-time Solheim Cup champion among the players this year. Five of the 12 European players have won at least one Solheim Cup compared to four American players.
Most Solheim Cup Wins
Catriona Matthew can become the first European captain to win the Solheim Cup two times. Matthew would join Judy Rankin (1996, 1998) and Juli Inkster (2015, 2017) as captains to win back-to-back Solheim Cups on both home and foreign soil. The previous four Europeans to captain the team at least two times only won once, with the last attempt more than a decade ago. Pat Hurst looks to become the ninth winning American captain after three years as assistant captain for the U.S. teams captained by Inkster.
Back-to-Back European Captain Records
Solheim Cup History
1990 (Loss), 1992 (Win), 1994 (Loss), 1996 (Loss)
|Dale Reid||2000 (Win), 2002 (Loss)|
|Catrin Nilsmark||2003 (Win), 2005 (Loss)|
|Alison Nicholas||2009 (Loss), 2011 (Win)|
|Catriona Matthew||2019 (Win), 2021 (?)|
The U.S. team includes three rookies for the seventh time, which ranks as the most popular number of rookies for the team. In the previous six instances with three rookies, the U.S. team has won the Solheim Cup four times (1996, 2005, 2009, 2017) and lost twice (2000, 2011). At 31 years old, Mina Harigae is the oldest American rookie since Becky Iverson in 2000, who was 32 when she appeared in the Solheim Cup contested at Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.
Oldest American Rookies
Solheim Cup Since 2000
|2000 Nancy Scranton||
|2000 Michele Redman||35|
|2000 Becky Iverson||32|
|2021 Mina Harigae||31|
Anna Nordqvist made her debut in the Solheim Cup at age 22 in 2009 and was the youngest European rookie since Suzann Pettersen first took the stage in 2002 at age 21. Nordqvist leads the European team into Inverness Club on the heels of her third LPGA Tour major win at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open.
Most LPGA Tour Majors
|Danielle Kang||United States||1|
|Nelly Korda||United States||1|
|Lexi Thompson||United States||1|
In Solheim Cup history, the average number of holes played is 16 with 80% of the matches ending on the closing holes (16, 17 or 18). When the United States has hosted, that number increases slightly to 80.39% with holes 11-15 determining a total of 40 matches (20%). No foursome or four-ball match in the history of the event has been decided before No. 13. The 18th hole remains the most pivotal hole on the course, as was the case in 2019 when Suzann Pettersen made a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to secure the winning point for Europe.
Matches Decided on the Closing Holes
Solheim Cup History – American Soil
|NUMBER OF MATCHES||PERCENTAGE|
Off the Tee
Nelly Korda and Jennifer Kupcho are ranked first and second in total driving on the LPGA Tour this season, which measures a player’s performance in both driving distance and accuracy. Korda has steadily increased her drive distance since joining the tour in 2017.
Nelly Korda – Average Driving Distance
LPGA Tour Last Five Seasons
|AVERAGE DRIVING DISTANCE||RANK|
Approach the Green
Lexi Thompson leads all players this season in approach-the-green statistics. Thompson ranks sixth in ball striking, which combines total driving and greens in regulation performance.
Lexi Thompson – Approach the Green Statistics
2021 LPGA Tour Season
|Greens in regulation||
|GIR percentage from fairway||85.95%||1st|
|GIR percentage when miss the fairway||67.38%||1st|
Under Par Scoring
Georgia Hall has recorded the most birdies on Tour this season ahead of Yealimi Noh and Nelly Korda. Hall made 23 birdies on two occasions this year (Meijer LPGA Classic, ISPS Handa World Invitational), which ties her career record for total birdies in an event which she first set at the 2018 Cambia Portland Classic.
2021 LPGA Tour Season
Charley Hull, Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda have each made 10 eagles this season.
2021 LPGA Tour Season
Get ready Toledo for a spectacular competitive tournament of professional women golfers ready to hold the glorious Solheim Cup in their arms.