The Dirt on Home Soil Advantage


It all begins today at Crooked Stick. And the American Solheim Cup team has plenty to play for.
Nancy Lopez team tries to return the favor after a serious drubbing at the hands of Catrin Nilsmarks team two years ago in Sweden.
So what is the United States playing for? Revenge -- and the streak. The United States leads the series, 5-3, and most importantly, this week the Americans try to remain unbeaten on home soil.

'There's nothing better than winning at home,' Juli Inkster said. 'I can't imagine anything worse than losing at home, and we don't plan on doing that.'
What Inkster cant imagine has already been a big part of Ryder Cup competition for the United States.
Captain Ben Crenshaws American team pulled off the rally of the century to win at Brookline in the United States.
But that doesnt make Lanny Wadkins feel any better. His team lost at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y. Remember?
And if you think Wadkins feels bad, how about Hal Sutton? Last years Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills outside of Detroit, Mich., was an embarrassing loss on home turf for the Red, White and Blue.
This week, the Solheim Cup visits the course that John Daly made famous at the 1991 PGA Championship. Daly whooped the crowd into a frenzy, which is exactly what a young gun like Paula Creamer can do with some stellar play of her own.
'We're very aware of the situation that we haven't won there before,' Carin Koch said. 'That's a big task.'
Yes it is. But keep in mind the last Solheim Cup that was contested here in the States.
Europe led, 9-7, going into singles competition in Minnesota. The United States rallied from behind and pulled out the victory to keep an unblemished record at home.
And what would happen should the United States women find themselves on the short end of the closing ceremony this week?
One might actually believe that the Solheim Cup would be better off in the short and long terms.
Remember, the United States used to dominate the Ryder Cup. Europe broke through on American soil for the first time in 1987. And now look at what a more competitive European team and a few road victories have done for the competitive juices. Is the Ryder Cup better off for it? I think it is.
By no means am I rooting for a European victory. A Solheim Cup that went to the last singles match on Sunday would be the best story for womens golf.
And if Im truly rooting for the best scenario, it would be a Paula Creamer vs. Annika Sorenstam match-up to decide it all. Agreed?
'We have come pretty close over here, and everybody would love to win here,' European captain Catrin Nilsmark said. 'To break that barrier would be big for not only us, but for the Solheim Cup as a competition. If they lose on home soil, it would be even more hype next time.'
Its funny, actually. The European team has been labeled the underdog this week. Forget that the Euros drummed the USA the last time around. Instead, the experts are pointing to the perfect home record for the United States as the deciding factor.
Dont we all know by now that Europe loves the role of underdog?
We should. And well see how this whole thing unfolds. See you on the 'Sprint Post Game' each night, where well see just how much home soil truly means.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann