Euros in contention at WBO bodes well for Solheim prospects


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Annika Sorenstam is relishing all the Europeans who played their way into weekend contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

England’s Georgia Hall is in the hunt going to Sunday. She’s tied for second.

England’s Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Germany’s Caroline Masson are tied for seventh.

France’s Karine Icher, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, England’s Charley Hull, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, Spain’s Azahara Munoz and Germany’s Sandra Gal are all in position to make runs at top-10 finishes.

They’re all in contention to make the European Solheim Cup team.

“I’m excited so many Europeans are finding their forms,” Sorenstam said. “But it isn’t making it easy for the leadership team.”

Solheim Cup stalwarts Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Catriona Matthew of Scotland missed the cut, but they are proven commodities. Pettersen is a lock to make the team via the world rankings, and Matthew is a potential captain’s pick who will be in Iowa in two weeks for the matches no matter what. She is one of Sorenstam’s assistant captains.

“I’ve been using a lot of spread sheets and statistics and comparing averages,” Sorenstam said.

Solheim Cup standings entering Ricoh Women’s British Open

“I like numbers, but it will also come down to this,” Sorenstam said patting her heart.

Four Europeans will make Sorenstam’s Solheim Cup team off the Ladies European Tour points list. Hall leads the list with England’s Florentyna Parker second, Reid third and Ciganda fourth.

Four Europeans will also make the team off the Rolex world rankings, the four highest ranked Euros who aren’t on the team on points. Pettersen leads the world rankings list with Hull second, Icher third and Shadoff fourth.

While Hall and Parker look secure to make the team on points, there is still some jockeying possible on the points and on the rankings lists, but those eight players appear solid to make the team one way or another.

Nordqvist should be a lock as a captain’s pick unless her glandular fever worsens.

While Sorenstam isn’t tipping her hand, it would appear five players are in contention for her three remaining captain’s picks, barring a surprise. Matthew, Masson, Munoz, Gal and Swedish LPGA rookie Madelene Sagstrom appear as if they are competing for those three picks, should they not play their way on to the team. Matthew missed the cut and can only make it as a captain’s pick.