If U.S. Solheim Cup qualifying ended today, Michelle Wie would be on the team.
That’s a testament to her strong turnaround this year.
At year’s start, Wie wasn’t among the top 20 in the American Solheim Cup standings. She also wasn’t among the top 170 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.
Wie’s tie for second at the Meijer Classic on Sunday earned her 30 U.S. Solheim Cup points, moving her to No. 8. That’s notable because the top eight at the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 6) qualify for the American team.
It’s also notable that Wie climbed to No. 33 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings this week, moving up 15 spots. She started the year ranked No. 174 in the world.
This rankings climb matters in the U.S. Solheim Cup competition, because at No. 33 in the world, Wie is also in position to qualify for the team via a second pathway.
If Wie wasn’t among the top eight Americans in points this week, she would rank first on the U.S. Solheim Cup World Rankings list. The top two Americans in the world rankings who aren’t already qualified for the U.S. team on the final points list will qualify off the rankings list.
Wie has finished fourth or better in three of her last four starts, which includes her semifinal finish at the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play. She has finished sixth or better in five events this year. Statistically, Wie has made large turnarounds in her ball striking and putting. She’s 18th in greens in regulation, up from 124th at last year’s end. She’s 22nd in putting with her new upright stance, up from 120th last year. She’s 22nd in scoring average, up from 116th last year.
The Solheim Cup competition is intensifying with just seven events left in qualifying, three of them major championships with double points up for grabs. Wie is in this week’s field at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship before heading to Olympia Fields in suburban Chicago for the KPMG Women’s PGA, the second women’s major of the year.
If the team were finalized today, there would be tough calls for U.S. captain Juli Inkster, who has two captain’s picks to make. As of this week’s standings, Solheim cup veterans Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Lizette Salas, Christina Kim, Alison Lee and Ryann O’Toole have not qualified.
If the teams were set today, Mo Martin and Austin Ernst would make the team for the first time.
U.S. Solheim Cup points
1. Lexi Thompson, 612
2. Stacy Lewis, 386.5
3. Gerina Piller, 350.5
4. Cristie Kerr, 338.5
5. Jessica Korda, 299
6. Brittany Lang, 247
7. Austin Ernst, 227
8. Michelle Wie, 214
9. Angela Stanford, 211
10. Danielle Kang, 202.5
11. Brittany Lincicome, 192
12. Mo Martin, 178
13. Lizette Salas, 162.5
14. Jennifer Song, 134
15. Marina Alex, 128.5
16. Alison Lee, 124
*Points are awarded to top-20 finishers in LPGA events, with first place earning 60 points, second place 30, third place 28.5 and on down to three points for 20th place. Points are doubled in major championships.
U.S. Solheim Cup World Rankings
1. Mo Martin (No. 37)
2. Brittany Lincicome (No. 40)
3. Danielle Kang (No. 42)
4. Angela Stanford (No. 48)
5. Lizette Salas (No. 53)
*This list features the highest ranked Americans who aren’t among the top eight on the U.S. points list. The top two on this list at the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open will qualify for the team.