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Solheim Cup capsules: Meet the European team

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The Europeans are the defending Solheim Cup champions, having defeated the U.S., 14 1/2 to 13 1/2, in 2019 in Scotland.

They will now try to do what they've done only once in the event's history, which is win on foreign soil (2013, Colorado Golf Club). The Euros will also try to draw closer to the Americans in the overall series as they trail, 10-6, and will do so with seven team members who have played in no more than one previous cup.

As the 17th edition gets ready for Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, here’s a closer look at the European team (click here for the U.S. team capsules):

Emily K. Pedersen

Age: 25

Country: Denmark

World ranking: 68

LPGA victories: 0

LET victories: 5

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: 0-3-0 (2017)

The lowdown: Pedersen went winless in her Solheim Cup debut and her career suffered in the immediate aftermath. She didn't win again on the Ladies European Tour until 2020, but that breakthrough led to a resurgence. She won three individual events and one team competition on the LET, from Aug.-Nov., 2020, and has gone from outside the top 500 in the Rolex Rankings to inside the top 70.


Georgia Hall

Age: 25

Country: England

World ranking: 29

LPGA victories: 2

LET victories: 1

Solheim Cup record: 6-3-0 (2019, 2017)

The lowdown: Hall nearly won her second Open title at Carnoustie, tying for second place, one back of Solheim Cup teammate Anna Nordqvist. In doing so, she vaulted into second place in the LET points race, earning one of the two automatics entries via that process. The Englishwoman was brilliant in helping Europe win the '19 cup, going 4-0-0. She and Celine Boutier teamed to win three times and then Hall defeated Lexi Thompson in singles, 2 and 1, to cap the perfect week.


Anna Nordqvist

Age: 34

Country: Sweden

World ranking: 16

LPGA victories: 9

LET victories: 4

Major championship titles: 3 (2021 AIG Women's Open, 2017 Evian, 2016 U.S. Women's Open)

Solheim Cup record: 12-9-2 (2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009)

The lowdown: Nordqvist ended a four-year winless drought by capturing her third major title at the AIG Women's Open. She's the only multiple major winner on either team. This will be Nordqvist's seventh consecutive cup start, making her the European's senior leader by two appearances. She suffered her first losing record in the '19 Solheim Cup, going 1-2-0, but her 4-and-3 singles win over Morgan Pressel helped secure victory for her side.


Sophia Popov

Age: 28

Country: Germany

World ranking: 30

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 1

Major championship titles: 1 (2020 AIG Women's Open)

Solheim Cup record: Rookie

The lowdown: Popov is still trying to follow up that remarkable major triumph a year ago. She earned three top-10 finishes on the LPGA this year, through May, but has since missed five cuts in her last eight starts.  Three of those missed cuts have come in majors, including her title defense at Carnoustie. She represented Europe in the 2009 Junior Solheim Cup along with fellow Solheim Cup rookie Leona Maguire.


Charley Hull

Age: 25

Country: England

World ranking: 39

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 2

Solheim Cup record: 9-3-3 (2019, 2017, 2015, 2013)

The lowdown: Hull was 17 when she made her Solheim Cup debut in 2013, the youngest competitor in event history. She stunned Paula Creamer in singles that year, beating the veteran, 5 and 4. Hull hasn't had a losing record in four previous appearances, going 2-0-2 in her most recent start. She'll need to find a new partner this time around, however, as she paired with Azahara Munoz all three times in '19.


Carlota Ciganda

Age: 31

Country: Spain

World ranking: 41

LPGA victories: 2

LET victories: 4

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: 6-6-4 (2019, 2017, 2015, 2013)

The lowdown: Ciganda is one of the longest hitter on either side, averaging nearly 269 yards per drive. Accuracy off the tee, however, isn't her strong suit as she's outside the top 130 on tour in that department. After a solid showing in the truncated 2020 season, Ciganda has struggled this year. She has only one top-10 finish in 17 starts, with 11 results outside the top 30. She was 3-0-0 in her 2013 cup debut, but has since gone 3-6-4.


Leona Maguire

Age: 26

Country: Ireland

World ranking: 43

LPGA victories: 0

LET victories: 0

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: Rookie

The lowdown: After two Junior Solheim Cup appearances, Maguire will be representing Europe in the competition proper thanks to being one of captain Catriona Matthew's six picks. She is coming off a tie for 13th in the AIG Women's Open, her seventh consecutive top-15 finish on tour.  Maguire is one of the best all-around players on the LPGA, getting better the closer she gets to the hole. She's 80th on tour in driving distance, 32nd in accuracy, 16th in GIR and sixth in putts per GIR.


Madelene Sagstrom

Age: 28

Country: Sweden

World ranking: 46

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 0

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: 1-2-0 (2017)

The lowdown: Sagstrom debuted four years, losing both of her team matches and winning her singles, 3 and 2, over Austin Ernst. The Swede picked up her first LPGA victory in January 2020 and nearly got No. 2 at the AIG Women's Open, where she tied for second. Sagstrom is a big hitter who also has good touch around the greens.


Matilda Castren

Age: 26

Country: Finland

World ranking: 47

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 1

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: Rookie

The lowdown: It's been a breakthrough year for Castren, who won her first LPGA event in June and then, a month later, won on the LET in her home country. The latter victory gave her LET status, which was needed in order for her to be on the European Solheim Cup team. Captain Matthew selected Castren with one of her wildcard picks. In her last six starts on the LPGA, Castren has a win, a runner-up and three top-20s – not including that clutch victory in Finland.


Nanna Koerstz Madsen

Age: 26

Country: Denmark

World ranking: 48

LPGA victories: 0

LET victories: 1

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: Rookie

The lowdown: Much of the focus will be on Koerstz Madsen's 18th-hole collapse at the AIG, where she made double bogey to lose by two shots. But in addition to that T-5 in Carnoustie, she tied for third at this year's ANA Inspiration. The Dane also tied for ninth in the women's Olympics competition. Koerstz Madsen is the longest hitter on the European side, ranking seventh on tour with a 276-yard average.


Mel Reid

Age: 33

Country: England

World ranking: 53

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 6

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: 4-6-2 (2017, 2015, 2011)

The lowdown: Reid, with her fiery demeanor, seems the perfect fit for this competition, but it's been hit or miss for the Englishwoman. She went 1-3-0 in her debut, then 3-0-1 in '15 and 0-3-1 in '17. She missed the 2019 edition.


Celine Boutier

Age: 27

Country: France

World ranking: 65

LPGA victories: 1

LET victories: 2

Major championship titles: 0

Solheim Cup record: 4-0-0 (2019)

The lowdown: Boutier may have missed the cut at Carnoustie, but prior to that, she had four top-10s in six starts. More important to Captain Matthew, though, is how Boutier fared in her cup debut. As mentioned above, she and Georgia Hall teamed to go 3-0 and then Boutier won her singles match, 2 and 1, over Annie Park.