Gulbis on Solheim Hot Seat

By Randall MellJuly 31, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupNatalie Gulbis is vulnerable.
 
Brittany Lincicome is secure.
 
Michelle Wie can still make the U.S. Solheim Cup team on points, while Hall of Famer Juli Inkster can only make the team as a captains pick.
 
That was part of the Solheim Cup shakeup Friday at the Ricoh Womens British Open, and yet the final makeup of the United States team wont affect how massively favored the Americans will be based on how poorly key Europeans fared this week.
 
The top three players on the Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup points list all missed the cut with dreadfully high scores.
 
Frances Gwladys Nocera, who is guaranteed a roster spot based on her leading the Europeans in points, shot 91 in the first round and wont be around on the weekend.
 
Spains Tania Elosegui and Italys Diana Luna, also in position to make the European team based on their point standing, both failed to break 80 on Friday. They also both missed the cut.
 
The European trio finished a cumulative 55 over par at the year's final major.
 
On the American side, nine of the 12 roster spots are set.
 
By missing the cut Friday at the Womens British Open, Gulbis gave hope to a half dozen players who mathematically still have a chance to earn automatic spots for the Aug. 21-23 matches at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
 
The top 10 in points when the event ends Sunday will make the team with American captain Beth Daniel filling out the 12-woman roster with two at-large picks.
 
Gulbis is holding the 10th and final spot.
 
By missing the cut, Gulbis assured No. 9 Lincicome will make the team.
 
No. 11 Laura Diaz, No. 12 Stacy Prammanasudh, No. 15. Jane Park, No. 16 Michelle Wie, No. 19 Irene Cho and No. 21 Michelle Redman all have varying degrees of chances to make the team on points.
 
No. 13 Pat Hurst, No. 14 Juli Inkster, No. 17 Wendy Ward and No. 18 Meaghan Francella missed the cut and can only make the team as captains picks.
 
Hurst, Inkster and Wie appear to have the best chances of being tabbed captains picks.
 
Heres the lowdown for players on the American points list:
 
No. 11 Diaz ' Having not earned a Solheim Cup point all year, Diaz needs to make the team on points. Finishing 14th or better would give her enough points to equal Gulbis for the last spot, given nobody else passes her. Diaz is 11 shots off the lead at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and is tied for 47th.
 
No. 12 Prammanasudh ' Having not earned a Solheim Cup point in four months, Prammanasudh also cant count on being a captains pick. She can overtake Gulbis on points by finishing 11th or better.
 
No. 13 Hurst ' Missed the cut and cant make the team on points, but the Solheim Cup veteran is the only player in contention as a captains pick who has a victory this season.
 
No. 14 Inkster ' Missed the cut and cant make the team on points, but the Hall of Famer is more than a sentimental favorite in her bid to make a last Solheim Cup team.
 
No. 15 Park ' By winning, Park makes the team. With a second-place finish, she equals Gulbis in points at No. 10. Park is in good position, just five shots off the lead and tied for 10th.
 
No. 16 Wie ' Must win to make the team on points, but shes eight shots off the lead and tied for 25th. Wie, however, is playing the most consistent golf through the summer among captains pick possibilities.
 
No. 17 Ward ' Missed the cut, no chance to make the team on points.
 
No. 18 Francella ' Missed the cut, no chance to make the team on points.
 
No. 19 Cho ' Must win to make the team on points. Nine shots off the lead, shes tied for 32nd.
 
No. 20 Allison Fouch ' Not in the field, no chance to make the team on points.
 
No. 21 Redman ' Must win to make the team on points. Like Cho, shes nine shots off the lead, tied for 32nd.
 
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