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Solheim update: Euro team could look very different from 2011

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The European Solheim Cup team that beat the Americans in Ireland two years ago still looks like it may be headed toward an overhaul with two weeks left in the qualifying race to make the team.

Eight players from that last European team are not yet within qualifying parameters.

So far, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Spain’s Azahara Munoz are the only players from the victorious 2011 team who are within qualifying standards. If the team was settled today, Spain’s Beatriz Recari and Carlota Ciganda and Germany’s Caroline Masson would make their first Solheim Cup appearances.

The Euros have a different qualifying process than the Americans with four players earning spots off a points list and with the four highest ranked Euros not already qualified on points also making it.

With four at-large picks, European captain Liselotte Neumann has a lot of leeway to choose some of those veterans off the 2011 team who don’t qualify.

The eight Euros from the victorious 2011 team who aren’t within the qualifying standard so far are Laura Davies, Sophie Gustafson, Maria Hjorth, Sandra Gal, Karen Stupples, Caroline Hedwall, Melissa Reid and Christel Boeljon.

Davies has played in every Solheim Cup ever staged but told Golfchannel.com this summer that she wanted to automatically qualify for the team and didn’t want Neumann to feel she had to pick her.

The Europeans have two qualifying opportunities left. There’s this week’s Handa Ladies European Masters in England and next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at St. Andrews. The American and European teams will be announced after the Women’s British Open concludes.

Here is how the race shapes up:

Europeans

European Solheim Cup standings (top four qualify):

Points
1. Suzann Pettersen, Norway 163
2. Carlota Ciganda, Spain 138.12
3. Catriona Matthew, Scotland 134.75
4. Caroline Masson, Germany 107.5
5. Gwladys Nocera, France 100
6. Caroline Hedwall, Sweden 93.24
7. Giulia Sergas, Italy 89.38
8. Mikaela Parmid, Sweden 82

*The Ladies European Tour has different point tables for events depending on the prize money offered, but a victory can range from 40 points to 60 points with a win in the majors worth 80 points. 

European Solheim world rankings standings (top four qualify):

1. Beatriz Recari, Spain (No. 18)

2. Anna Nordqvist, Sweden (No. 23).

3. Karine Icher, France (No. 25).

4. Azahara Munoz, Spain (No. 27).

5. Caroline Hedwall, Sweden (No. 29).

6. Jodi Ewart Shadoff, England, (No. 45).

7. Sandra Gal, Germany (No. 54).

8. Giulia Sergas, Italy (No. 58).

*Four captain’s picks will fill out the European squad.

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