Solheim Cup rankings for Team USA and Team Europe going into the Ricoh Women’s British Open – who will be the wild card picks?
The 2017 Solheim Cup is on everybody’s mind as we play our way through the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
While Team Europe and Team USA follow somewhat different team selection paths, Captain Annika Sörenstam and Captain Juli Inkster are both busy right now. The Solheim Cup captains will announce their final team selections on Sunday, August 6. As the Ricoh Women’s British Open concludes we’ll learn who will meet on the Des Moines Golf and Country Club playing field for four glorious days of match play beginning Thursday, August 17.
Earning a spot on either the European or American team is a two-year process. American and European players have been accumulating Solheim Cup points since the 2015 Cup at St. Leon-Rot. For the American team, the top eight players in the Solheim Cup rankings automatically earn a spot on Team USA. For the Europeans, the top four players in the Solheim Cup rankings will join Team Europe.
Rolex Rankings figure differently into the Team USA and Team Europe selection equations. For the Americans, the two highest Rolex Ranked players not qualified by the Solheim Cup rankings earn eligibility. For the Europeans, the four highest Rolex Ranked players not qualified by the Solheim Cup rankings earn eligibility.
That leaves Captain Inkster two wild card picks and Captain Sörenstam four to fill out their teams. Speculation about these final choices is running red hot right now.
Here’s where things stand as the potential Solheim Cup teams are playing their final event, the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
- Lexi Thompson – 687 points
- Stacy Lewis – 452.5 points
- Gerina Piller – 407.5 points
- Cristie Kerr – 400 points
- Jessica Korda – 323 points
- Danielle Kang – 322.5
- Michelle Wie – 251.5 points
- Brittany Lang – 247 points
- Brittany Lincicome – 237 points, Rolex Rank – 42
- Angela Stanford – 232 points, Rolex Rank – 48
- Austin Ernst – 227 points, Rolex Rank – 53
- Lizette Salas – 216.5 points, Rolex Rank – 45
- Georgia Hall
- Florentyna Parker
- Mel Reid
- Carlota Ciganda
- Suzann Pettersen
- Charley Hull
- Karine Icher
- Jodi Ewart Shadoff
On the outside, looking in
On the American side, Paula Creamer has played on the last five Solheim Cup teams. Creamer practically bleeds red, white, and blue and she’s a fierce match play competitor with a superb record. Will Captain Inkster pass over Ernst or Stanford, also an experienced Solheim Cup competitor, in favor of Creamer?
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And what about Mo Martin, who ranks 14th in Solheim Cup points and 54th by Rolex? Would Martin, a more experienced player and certainly one of the most accurate shot-makers in women’s golf, be a smarter wild card pick than the younger and less experienced Austin Ernst?
On the European side, Anna Nordqvist has failed to play the required number of LET events to qualify for Sörenstam’s team, but Nordqvist is ranked 12th by Rolex and has played on the last for European Solheim Cup teams. She’s a logical wild card pick, except that she may not be healthy enough to deliver the game her team needs.
Emily Kristine Pedersen may be a rookie on the LPGA tour but she’s a strong, solid competitor. Azahara Muñoz has four times been a valuable member of Team Europe and is a proven world-class match play competitor. What about Caroline Masson and Sandra Gal, both Solheim Cup veterans, both solid match play competitors? How will Sörenstam fill our her team?
We’ll have to wait until Sunday afternoon for Captains Inkster and Sörenstam to render their decisions. Until then we’ll watch as play unfolds at Kingsbarns and we’ll speculate! And we can also speculate about the Kingsbarns outcome: Michelle Wie has set a brisk pace. Can she keep it up?
Golf Channel and NBC will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2017 Solheim Cup, beginning Thursday, August 17, 6-9pm (GC); Friday, August 18, 9am-2pm and 4-7pm (GC); Saturday, August 19, 8am-4pm (GC) & 4-6pm (NBC); Sunday, August 20, 12-4pm (GC) & 4-6pm (NBC). All times are ET.