Euros, U.S. excited for great conditions at St. Leon-Rot


ST. LEON-ROT, Germany – The Solheim Cup’s home this year should look familiar to fans of Tiger Woods.

Woods won the Deutsche Bank/SAP Open three times when it was played at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, host of this week’s Solheim Cup. He won it here in 1999, ’01 and ’02.

The course played long Tuesday with the Americans and Europeans on the course in practice rounds. It is a par 72 at a scorecard distance of 6,592 yards. Wet and soft, the course played especially long, players said.

“Somebody with length has a huge advantage,” American Stacy Lewis said.

Europeans don’t expect the course to play as long as it did in Tuesday’s practice rounds.

“Today is probably the longest it will play,” Europe’s Suzann Pettersen said.

Though players say the fairways are generous, the rough is deep.

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“You're going to have to drive the ball in the fairway to have some opportunities at birdies,” Inkster said. “The greens are pretty basic, not a lot of undulation, so I think you're going to see some birdies out there, which will be fun for the fans.

“I don't think it favors somebody who hits the ball in the fairway. That's the No. 1 priority for this golf course, I think.”

Players are lauding the course for its excellent condition.

“The course is pure, couldn’t be in better shape,” American Gerina Piller said.

There are some reachable par 5s and a drivable par 4 when the tees are up at the 13th.

“I've heard a lot of great stuff about this venue, how awesome the facilities and everything around the course is,” Pettersen said. “And kind of how people have been underrating the course. I think this is a fantastic golf course. A lot of great holes. Some of the holes got some teeth to it.”

The setup when the Americans lost at Colorado Golf Club two years ago was firm and fast. The course played difficult, resistant to scoring. That setup seemed to favor the Euros. With the course yielding few birdies, there weren’t a lot of roars. That seemed to favor the Euros, too. Then again, four years ago at Killeen Castle in Ireland, the course was soft and wet. It looked very much like an American course. The Euros won there, too.