It’s all about the captain’s picks now.
And most of the intrigue is whether U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster will make a slumping Paula Creamer one of her two picks Monday to fill out the American team that will meet Europe in Germany next month. The United States will head to St. Leon-Rot Golf Club looking to turn around its fortunes after losing the last two Solheim Cups.
The American team’s 10 qualifiers were finalized Sunday night at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open with no significant changes.
Inkster will announce her two picks in a Golf Channel Solheim Cup show Monday at 7 p.m.
Inkster is faced with some tough choices with Creamer among four Solheim Cup veterans who didn’t qualify for the team. Brittany Lang, Jessica Korda and Christina Kim are also Solheim Cup veterans who didn’t meet the qualifying standard. They’re on the short list of candidates for captain’s picks along with Mo Martin and Austin Ernst.
Creamer, 29, is a five-time Solheim Cup player who boasts an impressive 12-6-5 record in the matches. Inkster and Creamer share a strong Solheim Cup bond. They were a formidable duo early in Creamer’s career. They were 3-2-1 as partners. Creamer, however, has struggled much of this season. She shot 81 Friday to miss the cut at Canadian Women’s Open, her third consecutive missed cut.
Korda, 22, made the cut at the Canadian Women’s Open, tying for 32nd, but she has battled elbow soreness this summer and had made just one cut in her previous six events heading to Canada. She played in her first Solheim Cup two years ago in Colorado.
Lang, 30, missed the cut in Canada but has had a solid summer. She’s 5-4-2 in three Solheim Cups.
Kim, 31, tied for 65th in Canada. She won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational late last year, her first title in nine years. She’s 6-2-2 in three Solheim Cups.
Martin, 32, hasn’t played in a Solheim Cup but won the Women’s British Open last year. She tied for 25th in Canada and tied for fifth in Portland last week. Martin has had a solid summer and appears to be recovered from the thumb injury that plagued her late last year and earlier this season.
Ernst, 23, also hasn’t played in a Solheim Cup. She won the Portland Classic for her first LPGA title last year and has had a consistent summer getting into contention for a Solheim spot.
Nine of the 10 American qualifiers this year played on the American team that lost in Colorado in 2013. Lee, an LPGA rookie, is the only new face among the American qualifiers.
Here are the Americans who secured automatic qualifier spots Sunday:
U.S. SOLHEIM CUP POINTS LIST
8 Gerina Piller
U.S. SOLHEIM CUP WORLD RANKINGS LIST
1 Alison Lee
2 Lizette Salas