US Returning To Solheim As Defending Champions
The Solheim Cup has often been described as being in a league of its own – and rightfully so. A Golf tournament for professional women golfers – contested by teams from Europe and the United States – the Solheim Cup is played every other year, alternating with the men’s alternative, being the Ryder Cup.
Held for the very first time in 1990, this year’s Solheim Cup will be played at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, and will run from August 18 to August 20.
The current holders of the Solheim Cup title are the United States, having won in 2015 at Baden-Wurttemberg.
Not only does the Solheim Cup alternate with the Ryder Cup, but it also follows the same basic format – played over 3 days, consisting of eight foursomes, eight four-balls and 12 singles on the third and final day.
Some Unexpected Changes For Europe
Team Europe’s captain Annika Sorenstam has confirmed that Catriona Matthew from Scotland has been roped in to replace injured player Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen, professional pro-golfer from Norway, had been receiving ongoing treatment for a back injury ahead of Solheim, but finally decided to call it quits and withdraw – having the best interests of the team in mind.
Matthew, the 47 year old vice-captain, will now be a participating member of the 2017 European team, and no longer merely supporting from the sidelines. When interviewed by the BBC, Matthew confirmed that she had suspected that she would be called on to play, and felt ready and prepared for the challenge ahead of her.
Matthew has participated in a total of eight Solheim Cup events between the years 1998 and 2015, and part of the winning team for three of those years: 2003, 2011 and 2013. Matthew is notorious for being able to tie the final ends together in the last moments in order to secure a win – she sunk the winning putt in 2003 at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Sweden, as well as securing a much needed half point and ultimately the Cup for that year in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club.
Matthew told the press that she had previously resolved to enjoy the role of being vice-captain, despite this essentially meaning that she would be on reserve and not an active, playing member of the squad. Now that this had changed, it was merely a matter of having to re-focus.
Having played in so many Solheim Cups before, it’s a challenge to be taken right in her stride.