US team counting on home advantage in Solheim Cup

AFP, PARKER, Colorado

Fri, Aug 16, 2013 - Page 19

Europe’s top women golfers know it will not be easy to hang on to the Solheim Cup against a US team eager to win the match play duel on home soil.

The event begins today with foursomes and four-ball matches at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, 35km southeast of Denver.

Foursomes and Four-ball matches tomorrow are followed by 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The Americans went into the 2011 edition in County Meath, Ireland as the favorites, having won three straight titles.

The teams were tied at 8-8 going into Sunday’s singles play, and Europe played superb golf to claim a 15-13 triumph.

“We’ve been waiting for two years to get our Cup back,” said Paula Creamer, who is competing on her fifth US Solheim Cup team. “We’ve never lost on home soil and we’re all very aware of that.”

The US squad includes four rookies and eight veterans — among them Women’s British Open winner Stacy Lewis. Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie are also back for the Americans. They are joined by rookies Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Lizette Salas and Gerina Piller.

The European team also features a mix of veterans and rookies.

Suzanne Pettersen, a seven-time European team member, is joined by four of her 2011 teammates in Caroline Hedwall, Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Munoz. Karine Icher returns to the team for the first time since 2002.

Six rookies represent Europe — Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Giulia Sergas, Carlota Ciganda, Carolina Masson, Beatriz Recari and Charley Hull.