McBride trying to play way onto sixth Solheim team

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TURNBERRY, Scotland – With back-to-back rounds in the 60s at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, Sweden’s Maria McBride isn’t dismissing a late run at making her sixth European Solheim Cup team.

McBride, 41, who played most of her career under her maiden name, Hjorth, is a vice captain for the Euros but is suddenly playing as if she might also want to contribute inside the ropes when the Solheim Cup’s played next month in Germany. She posted a 3-under-par 69 in tough conditions again Saturday at Trump Turnberry. McBride shot a remarkable bogey-free round of 66 on Friday in heavy winds and several hard downpours through her round.

After opening with a 79 that left her tied for 136th, McBride was tied for 10th when she walked off the course on Saturday.

A five-time LPGA winner, McBride tied for second in the 2007 Women’s British Open at St. Andrews. It’s one of nine top 10s she has in majors. She was asked if she’s thinking she might make a nice playing vice captain.

“Of course, I think about it, and it would be great to play, but right now I don’t feel like I’m in contention here,” McBride said. “But you never know. We still have a month to go before the announcement. All I can do is play my golf and see what happens.”

McBride has had a mixed year. She tied for fourth at the North Texas Shootout and tied for 10th at the ShopRite Classic but came to Turnberry having missed four consecutive cuts. She said she found something working with David Leadbetter after the first round this week that has turned around her game. She fixed a glitch in the movement of her right hip and it sparked a flurry of good shots.

McBride is 20th on the European Solheim Cup Rolex world rankings list with the top four on that list on Aug. 24 automatically making the team. That’s McBride’s best bet for qualifying. Another four players will qualify off the Ladies European Tour points list on Aug. 9. McBride could also make the team as one of the four captain’s picks Carin Koch makes on Aug. 25.