Caroline Hedwall created a major slice of Solheim Cup history two years ago when she became the first player on either side to win all five of her matches and the Swede is hoping that memories of that stellar performance can help her rediscover her top form this week.
“For the last year I’ve been hitting the ball really well, but I just haven’t putted that well,” she said. “It kind of was the same situation when I came into the Solheim in 2013, I didn’t make many putts and all of a sudden all works. I’m kind of hoping for some magic this week, too.”
“It is different when you’re playing match play. I’m an aggressive putter and I think I can be more aggressive when its match play compared to stroke play. Match play is different,” she added. “For the last year, I’ve been trying to bring more match play into my stroke play, but that’s easier said than done. In match play, I actually trust my game a lot more and my putting, as well. So I think I’m ready for Friday. It feels good.”
Hedwall’s putting problems started last year when she injured her wrist while removing luggage from her car.
It was unfortunate,” she said,” but it bothered right through to the fall, particularly when I was putting. It was just one of those things. It’s been tough coming back but I think I’m getting there and, now that I’m here, thinking about that week (at the Solheim Cup), I know I can play great golf. I try to get that confidence back.” The Swede is not the only player at St Leon-Rot who has seen her preparations disrupted by injury. Michelle Wie has been plagued by hip and ankle injuries for much of the season and had to rely on Juli Inkster giving her a captain’s pick to get into the American team.
“It’s amazing,” said the former US Women’s Open champion. “I’m so grateful to be here in this position right now. Juli and I have had a lot of talks this year. She’s on my favourite list on phone dial.”
Wie recounted the decision was made during a conversation with Inkster straight after a visit to her doctor. “I came back from the doctor and got a call from Juli,” she recalled. “It was really night and day.
“There were some conversations, when I talked to Juli honestly, I told her I didn’t know whether I could play or not. But the past month it has been much better. I played last week with no pain, knock on wood, and this week too. Every day I’ve been really diligent about my rehab routine. That has been my number one priority. I feel really good this week and I’m ecstatic to be here.
“Yes, for sure,” she added when asked if she could play in all five series of matches. “I mean it’s been a while since I’ve played that much golf but, yeah, I’m all fired up and ready to go.”