The battle for the final three automatic qualifying spots on the U.S. Solheim Cup team is headed to a nerve-wracking conclusion Sunday at the CP Women’s Open.
Six players enter the final round with realistic shots at playing their way on to captain Juli Inkster’s team.
In the fight for the final roster spot off the U.S. Solheim Cup points list, Brittany Altomare put herself in strong position to hold off Angel Yin and Ally McDonald, the only players who can still overtake her.
In the fight for the final two roster spots off the Rolex world rankings list, Yin and Austin Ernst aren’t yet guaranteed anything in their bids to hold on to those spots. While Yin put herself in a very strong position, she needs to avoid a final-round stumble to hold off Amy Olson, Annie Park and McDonald, all of whom remain in the hunt to play their way on to the team.
Ernst made herself vulnerable missing the cut on Friday.
Here’s a closer look . . .
IN THE POINTS RACE
(Top-20 finishes earn points, with 60 points for first place, 30 for second place, 28.5 for third and down to 3 for 20th place)
Altomare (257.5 points) – With a solid 1-under-par 71 Saturday, Altomare sits T-22 on the CP Women’s Open leaderboard. She currently holds the eighth and final spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup points list.
McDonald (250.5 points) – If Altomare doesn’t finish T-20 or better Sunday, McDonald can pass her with a finish of T-17 or better. McDonald’s 69 on Saturday left her T-45, five shots behind the players currently holding the T-17 position.
Yin (217 points) – Yin must win to have a chance to overtake Altomare. Yin’s 68 on Saturday left her T-8 on the CP Women’s Open leaderboard, seven shots behind the co-leaders.
IN THE WORLD RANKINGS RACE
(The top two in the Rolex world rankings who aren’t qualified on the U.S. Solheim Cup points list will earn rosters spots)
Yin (No. 32) – At T-8 on the CP Women’s Leaderboard, she just needs to avoid a Sunday stumble to secure her spot via the world rankings.
Altomare (No. 40) – If Altomare secures a roster spot on points, her world ranking here doesn’t matter. But if she gets passed on points, she can still make the team off this list.
Ernst (No. 41) – Currently holds the second roster spot off this list, but her missed cut Friday left her in danger of getting passed.
Park (No. 42) – Just .01 average world ranking points behind Ernst, Park doesn’t have to do much to move past Ernst and take that second world-ranking spot. Park currently sits T-49 on the CP Women’s Open leaderboard. Even if she stays right there, she can still pass Ernst, depending on what other players do to move up or down in the complex computation of the world rankings. Park, however, has to worry about Olson and McDonald passing Ernst to take that second spot.
Olson (No. 50) – Olson is in good position to take one of these two spots after her third consecutive 68 moved her to T-5 on the CP Women’s Open leaderboard. If she finishes solo fifth or better, she will probably be in position to make the team, depending greatly upon what other players do to move up or down in the world rankings.
McDonald (No. 60) – Her best chance is to pass Altomare on points, but she has a long shot’s chance to make it via the world rankings. McDonald probably needs to finish third or better at the CP Women’s Open to have a chance to make it off the world-rankings list, depending on what other players do to move up or down in the rankings. McDonald is T-45 on the CP Women’s Open leaderboard.
Kristen Gillman (No. 65) – Gillman needs a phenomenal rally to make it, but she’s mathematically alive. She currently sits T-41 on the CP Women’s leaderboard and probably needs to finish fourth or better to have a chance to make the team.