Solheim shocker: Jones tabs rookie O'Toole as captain's pick
- By Randall Mell
- Aug 21, 2011 10:43 PM ET
Rosie Jones made a stunning choice in announcing her two captain’s picks Sunday night for the U.S. Solheim Cup team.
Jones is gambling that Ryann O’Toole can help the Americans win the Solheim Cup despite the fact that O’Toole is a rookie who has played just seven LPGA events in her career.
Jones named O’Toole and Vicky Hurst to the team that will meet Europe at Killeen Castle in Ireland Sept. 23-25.
“I’m going with a very wild pick,” Jones said in naming O’Toole.
O’Toole, 24, showed as much bravado as her captain when introduced as a pick.
“I’m ready to kick Europe’s butt,” O’Toole told a Golf Channel audience.
O’Toole made a strong impression this summer, finishing ninth at the U.S. Women’s Open and tying for fifth in Sunday’s Safeway Classic. Though O’Toole showed potential in those runs, they are the only top-10 finishes in her brief career. Still, O’Toole revealed she believed she had a strong chance to make the team when she told the Golf Channel after her round Sunday that Paula Creamer confided to her that she wanted Jones to choose her.
Creamer made the American team in her rookie season in ’05 and rolled to a 3-1-1 record. Michelle Wie also made it as a rookie in ’09 and dazzled with a 3-0-1 record.
O’Toole, who appeared in Golf Channel’s Big Break Sandals Resort show, was a standout at UCLA.
Hurst, 21, needed to win the Safeway Classic to grab one of the 10 automatic roster spots but fell short tying for fifth. Still, the effort pushed her up from 13th to 11th pushed her up from 13th to 11th on the American points list in the last qualifying event.
The selection of O’Toole and Hurst gives Jones three players who will be make their Solheim Cup debuts on the road. Stacy Lewis, winner of this year’s Kraft Nabisco, will also play in her first Solheim Cup after making the team on points.
Here are the 12 Americans who will represent the United States, with their Solheim cup records in parenthesis:
Cristie Kerr (Overall: 9-10-2; Singles: 1-3-1)
Having one of the LPGA’s best putting strokes makes Kerr a formidable match-play opponent despite the overall losing record.
Morgan Pressel (Overall: 3-2-2; Singles: 2-0)
In three matches, Pressel never lost at Rich Harvest Farms in ’09. She’s a perfect 2-0 in singles.
Stacy Lewis (Solheim Cup rookie)
The Kraft Nabisco champion showed her mettle coming from behind to defeat Yani Tseng in a head-to-head Sunday duel in the year’s first major.
Angela Stanford (Overall: 3-4-3; Singles 2-1)
Showed her match-play skills getting to the finals (’10) and semifinals (’11) of the Sybase Match Play Championship the last two seasons.
Paula Creamer (Overall: 8-2-4; Singles: 3-0)
In 14 Solheim Cup matches, Creamer’s lost just two matches, none in singles.
Michelle Wie (Overall: 3-0-1; Singles: 1-0)
Wie looked like the dominant player so many folks expected her to become in a tour de force performance as a Solheim Cup rookie in ’09.
Brittany Lincicome (Overall: 2-4-1; Singles: 1-1)
A power player, Lincicome’s shown good form winning the Shoprite Classic and finishing second at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Brittany Lang (Overall: 1-0-2; Singles: 0-0-1)
With her second-place finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and her tie for sixth at this weekend’s Safeway Classic, Lang’s warming up at the right time.
Juli Inkster (Overall: 15-10-6; Singles: 6-1-1)
At 51, Inkster makes it onto her ninth U.S. Solheim Cup team, more than any American in event history.
Christina Kim (Overall: 5-2-1; Singles: 2-0)
A human firecracker, Christina Kim annoyed Europeans with her fiery celebrations at Rich Harvest Farms, now she takes her act overseas.
Vicky Hurst (Solheim Cup rookie)
Hurst secured her first Solheim Cup appearance w/ Sunday's tie for fifth at Safeway, bumping her from 13th to 11th on the American points list.
Ryann O'Toole (Solheim Cup rookie)
A stunning pick, O'Toole is a rookie with just seven LPGA career starts and two top-10 finishes, but impressed captain Jones with lots of bravado.
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