Lopez Nilsmark Finalize Solheim Teams


2005 Solheim CupORLANDO, Fla. ' The teams have been finalized for this years Solheim Cup.
U.S. captain Nancy Lopez and European captain Catrin Nilsmark announced their captains selections Sunday.
Beth Daniel
Beth Daniel has a 10-8-5 career record in the Solheim Cup.
And both opted for experience.
Lopez chose Wendy Ward and Beth Daniel to round out her squad. Ward will be making her third consecutive Solheim appearance, while Daniel will be making her eighth overall team. Daniel has competed in each of the Matches with the exception of 1998.
'We've got a great team,'' Lopez said. 'We've practiced together, we've hung out together. We have one of the strongest teams bondingwise as well as playingwise that we will ever have.''
This was the final week for players to earn points. The top 10 on the U.S. standings automatically qualified for the event. They were, in order: Cristie Kerr, Meg Mallon, Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Pat Hurst, Natalie Gulbis, Christina Kim, Paula Creamer, Michele Redman and Laura Diaz.
This team has all the experience we need to win the Solheim Cup,' Lopez said. 'There is a total of 37 years of Solheim Cup experience on this team.'
Gulbis, Kim and Creamer will be making their debuts in the biennial event, which pits 12 American-born players against 12 European-born players.
'All I can say is they (the Europeans) had better get ready because they're going to get beat,'' declared Creamer, who is the first tour rookie to play in the Solheim Cup. 'I'm putting it down. I'm very confident.'
The top seven players on the European points list qualified automatically. Nilsmark was awarded five captains pick and used them to select Swedens Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson, Norways Suzann Petterson, Englands Karen Stupples and Scotlands Catriona Matthew.
Stupples, last years Weetabix Womens British Open champion, is the only pick without Cup experience.
Its been a very, very hard decision. There are quite a few players in the States who have played very well, Nilsmark said. We looked at basically five players; Karen obviously was one of them, Patricia Meunier Lebouc from France another, Liselotte Neumann, Janice Moodie, and Karen Stupples. In the end we chose the 2004 British Open champion.
The five picks will join world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth of Sweden, Englands Laura Davies and Trish Johnson, Frances Ludivine Kreutz and Gwladys Nocera, and Dane Iben Tinning.
The two Frenchwomen are the only European qualifiers who have yet to play in a Solheim Cup. Kreutz has won twice this year on the Ladies European Tour.
The tournament will take place Sept. 9-11 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Caramel, Ind. Nilsmark captained Europe to a 17 -10 victory in 2003 at Barseback Golf & Country Club in Malmo, Sweden.
The U.S. holds an overall 5-3 lead.
'The U.S. has never lost on home soil,' Lopez said. 'I look forward to winning the Cup back.'
The Golf Channel will cover all three days of the competition, as well as the opening ceremony. The first two days will each consist of four four-ball and four foursomes matches. The final day will consist of 12 singles matches. Each victory is worth one point, a tie worth a point and a loss worth no points.
Europe can retain the Cup by winning 14 of the 28 available points, while the U.S. will need to win 14 points to capture the Cup.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup