Kerr wins U.S. Team points race; Jones names Hurst and O’Toole as captain’s picks
U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Rosie Jones tonight revealed the 12-player squad that will represent the U.S in their quest to retain the Solheim Cup at the 12th playing of the international team event at Killeen Castle in Ireland next month. The U.S. Team will feature nine players returning from the victorious 2009 team including Rolex Rankings No. 2 and points leader Cristie Kerr, and Solheim Cup veteran and assistant captain Juli Inkster.
Jones announced the 10 points qualifiers and her two captain’s picks – Vicky Hurst and LPGA Tour rookie Ryann O’Toole – live on Golf Channel.
Based on the final U.S Solheim Cup standings, the top-10 players who automatically qualified for the U.S team are (listed in order of points ranking): Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Juli Inkster, and Christina Kim. Hurst and O’Toole round out the U.S. Team as captain’s picks. Lewis is the only automatic qualifier not to have played for the U.S in 2009.
“This has been an extremely exciting and difficult selection process,” said Jones. “I’ve been tracking these players for more than two years and tonight I feel we have built a fantastic team to represent the United States. Vicky and Ryann are two really solid players who will complement our team as we now focus on our strategy and performance next month at The Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.”
Inkster becomes the oldest player to participate in The Solheim Cup at the age of 51. She will also be the first-ever playing assistant captain from U.S. or Europe.
“I will be a player first and an assistant captain second and Rosie understands that,” Inkster said. “I feel like most of my career I’ve worn two hats as a mom and as a player, but it will be a challenge.”
Qualifying points for the U.S. Team are awarded weekly to the top-20 finishers and ties at official LPGA tournaments. Points are doubled at the four major championships every year. Points during a Solheim Cup year are weighted with 60 points for a win, 30 for second, 28.5 for third, 27 for fourth, 25.5 for fifth, 24 for sixth, 22.5 for seventh, 21 for eighth, 19.5 for ninth, 18 for 10th, 16.5 for 11th, 15 for 12th, 13.5 for 13th, 12 for 14th, 10.5 for 15th, 9 for 16th, 7.5 for 17th, 6 for 18th, 4.5 for 19th and 3 for 20th.
U.S. players started earning 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup points at the 2009 Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., and ended today at the 2011 Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. U.S. Players begin earning points toward the 2013 Solheim Cup at the CN Canadian Women’s Open next week.
The European Solheim Cup Team, led by Captain Alison Nicholas, will be named August 29, 2011. Melissa Reid, Laura Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Solheim rookie Christel Boeljon have already secured spots on the team through the LET (Ladies European Tour) point standings.
About The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players from the LET. The U.S. Team leads the competition, 8-3, and has never lost on home soil. The 2011 Solheim Cup will be played at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland. In 2013 the Solheim Cup will move back to U.S. soil and be contested at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include Golf Ireland and Rolex. For more information, log on to www.SolheimCup.com.
U.S. Solheim Cup Team – Quotes
“It’s exciting. Every two years, there is nothing more exciting or fun than to play The Solheim Cup. We basically have the same team with a few new faces and we are ready to head across the pond and try to win for the fourth straight time.”
“This is awesome. This was a goal coming into this year. I wanted to make it on points and not worry about being a pick. I am just really looking forward to the event.”
“The highlight of my golf career is playing on U.S. Solheim Cup Teams. This will be my fourth one, second overseas, and I’m looking forward to it. I just try to go out and win as many points as I can. We just go out there and play for our country.”
“I’m so excited to play. Anytime I can represent my country is an honor. I can’t wait to go abroad and experience Solheim overseas. I’m really looking forward to playing under Rosie, Juli and Sherri.”
“It’s pretty fantastic to make the team again. This was one of my goals entering the year and now that it’s finally here and our team is all together, it’s really cool.”
“This is just as special as 2009 and I feel more confident having already been on one team. Playing for your country is way more fun than playing for yourself.”
“This has been a very difficult six months or so with a lot of things going on in my life. After 2007, I’m thrilled beyond belief to represent the United States in Europe for the first time. I have two Solheim Cups under my belt and I know this will be an incredible challenge.”
Vicky Hurst, captain’s pick:
“It feels so good to get picked and I’m ready for The Solheim Cup. This has always been a dream for me.”
“I wasn’t standing over putts thinking about making the team this week, but it was definitely on my mind. I wanted to win this week, but I’m happy with my finish and I’m really proud of myself.”
Ryann O’Toole, captain’s pick
“Rosie took a chance on me and that means more than I can explain. It means just as much as winning a tournament. To have someone go against what people might think and go out on a limb with a rookie. She can see what I’m made of. She said she can see my moxy.”
“When I played well at the U.S. Women’s Open, I thought of some new goals. Rosie told me I was on the radar and it’s been on my mind since. I wanted to do whatever it took to get on this team.”
“I’m looking forward to playing with these girls and to representing America. The fact that I get to be amongst these girls is an honor and I know I can partner up with any of them to make a great team.”
2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team – By the numbers
Captain: Rosie Jones
Assistant captains: Juli Inkster and Sherri Steinhauer
Automatic qualifiers Final points Solheim Cup experience
Cristie Kerr (1) 750.0 2002, 2003 2005, 2007, 2009
Morgan Pressel (2) 467.5 2007, 2009
Stacy Lewis (3) 447.5 N/A
Angela Stanford (4) 438.5 2003, 2007, 2009
Paula Creamer (5) 434.5 2005, 2007, 2009
Michelle Wie (6) 358.0 2009
Brittany Lincicome (7) 356.5 2007, 2009
Brittany Lang (8) 293.0 2009
Juli Inkster (9) 188.5 1992, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009
Christina Kim (10) 150.5 2005, 2009
Captain’s picks Final points Solheim Cup experience
Vicky Hurst 138.0 (11) N/A
Ryann O’Toole 64.5 (18) N/A