Solheim Cup: Team USA ready to defend at Des Moines

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) /
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Solheim Cup
Lizette Salas of the United States. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

At first glance Lizette Salas seems to have a disappointing overall performance record at her two previous Solheim Cup appearances. A closer examination reveals a somewhat different picture.

Salas lost two foursomes matches, one in 2013 and one in 2015, when she was paired with Stacy Lewis. Yet Salas in a persistent, diligent grinder and so is Lewis. In 2013 they were matched against Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist and they were, quite simply, overpowered and probably out-maneuvered. In 2015 they were matched against Catriona Matthew and Sandra Gal, again shrewd and skilled match play tacticians.

The trick to capitalizing on Salas’ skills on the golf course, and she is a skilled competitor, is in how Captain Inkster pairs her. Salas is more than able to play against strong opponents in singles match play. She halved her singles match against Suzann Pettersen in 2013, no small achievement in the only Solheim Cup competitions Americans have lost on home soil. And she defeated Azahara Muñoz in 2015 at St. Leon-Rot, doing her part to beat back Team Europe in that magnificent Team USA comeback.

Salas is coming to the tee ready and willing and able to do her part for Team USA.