Nicholas makes European Solheim Cup picks


European Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas wasn’t as bold as U.S. counterpart Rosie Jones when she made her four captain’s selections Monday in Ireland. Still, three of Nicholas’ four picks will be playing in their first Solheim Cup.

Nicholas went with Azahara Munoz, Sandra Gal, Caroline Hedwall and Karen Stupples, the only name of the group who has played in the Solheim Cup.

“It was very much performance related,” Nicholas said. “The fact that we all had the same four players down confirmed to me that it was the right decision.”

The “we” Nicholas was referring to was herself and assistant captains Annika Sorenstam and Joanne Morley. All three put their four names down on a piece of paper and the picks were unanimous.

Munoz, from Spain, was the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year in 2010 and finished second at the Ladies Irish Open this summer at Killeen Castle, host of the Solheim Cup Sept. 23-25.

'What a day for me... Probably one of the best days of my life. Can't wait to be in Ireland and represent Europe. Such a big honor!!!!!!,' Munoz tweeted moments after the selection.

Gal, from Germany, won the LPGA’s Kia Classic earlier this year.

Hedwall, from Sweden, has won twice on the Ladies European Tour this year and contended at the Women’s British Open for two rounds before faltering over the weekend.

Stupples, from England, is a veteran players who can pair well with anyone in any format. Her only Solheim Cup appreance came in 2005 at Crooked Stick and her record was 0-2-0.