LET issues complicating European Solheim picture


OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – England’s Georgia Hall leads the European Solheim Cup’s LET point standings.

Oddly, she arrived for Thursday’s start of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship without having competed in two months.

In fact, no Ladies European Tour pro has teed it up on that tour in two months. That’s because the struggling tour hasn’t staged an event in two months.

“It’s hard,” Hall said after posting a 5-over-par 76 at Olympia Fields Country Club. “I practice quite a bit, but it’s not tournament golf. It’s not the same. Not playing since April isn’t ideal.”

Hall is playing this week on one of two sponsor exemptions at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The LET has featured just four events so far this year. No event has been staged since the Mediterranean Ladies Open in late April. The schedule picks up in the second half of the year, but there are just three events left on the LET schedule before the European Solheim Cup team is set after the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 3-6).

“If you’re an emerging player in Europe, you just about need to have a part-time job to keep you going,” Scottish LPGA star Catriona Matthew said earlier this year.

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It’s an issue for European Solheim Cup captain Annika Sorenstam and the team she is putting together to meet the Americans in Iowa in eight weeks. LET players who hang on and qualify for the team may not be properly seasoned.

The Women’s PGA Championship counts toward the LET points standings. Hall is also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in two weeks by virtue of her top-five finish on the LET’s Order of Merit last year.

With three majors before the American and European teams are finalized, the point standings could change substantially. Points in majors are elevated. This summer run of majors gives European LPGA pros a chance to bump LET pros from the LET points list, provided those LPGA Euros are also LET members.

“There just aren’t enough tournaments on our schedule,” Hall said.

Eight players will qualify for the European Solheim Cup team. The top four players on the LET points list will make it. The top four players on the European world rankings list who aren’t already qualified off the LET point list will also make the team. Sorenstam will also name four captain’s picks.

Ladies European Tour points list:

1. Georgia Hall (England), 107.25
2. Florentyna Parker (England), 103.50
3. Mel Reid (England), 89.25
4. Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), 81
5. Suzann Pettersen (Norway), 77
6. Charley Hull (England), 74
7. Emily Kristine Pedersen (Denmark), 63.25
8. Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Denmark), 52.50

European world rankings list:

1. Suzann Pettersen (Norway)
2. Charley Hull (England)
3. Carlota Ciganda (Spain)
4. Karine Icher (France)
5. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England)
6. Caroline Masson (Germany)
7. Azahara Munoz (Spain)
8. Sandra Gal (Germany)