Alison Nicholas will announce her European Solheim Cup team for 2011 on Monday 29th August following the publication of the weekly Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
The 12 woman squad competing at Killeen Castle in Ireland from September 23-25, 2011, will comprise the top four players on the Ladies European Tour’s Solheim Cup points ranking, the next best four players from the Rolex Rankings, with a further four selected players from the Ladies European Tour.
Laura Davies, the only player in Solheim Cup history to have participated in all 11 editions of the event, is targeting her 12th appearance on the team. The English star has played in 43 of the 48 matches contested since the inaugural event at Lake Nona in 1990. With 23.5 points earned in Solheim Cup competition, Davies is just half a point shy of equalling Annika Sorenstam’ record as the event’s all-time leading points’ scorer. The 79-time tournament champion currently leads the LET Solheim Cup points list after collecting five trophies over the 2010 season and is determined to secure her place on the team.
Last year’s Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion, Melissa Reid, from England, is in second position on the list and is desperate to make her Solheim Cup debut after injury effectively forced her out of the reckoning for the 2009 event at Rich Harvest Farms in America.
Frenchwoman Virginie Lagoutte-Clement is third on the list and also targeting her Solheim Cup debut. Last year the mother of one overcame difficult conditions to capture her third LET title at the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland at Archerfield Links in East Lothian and posted five additional top-four finishes over the season.
Denmark’s Iben Tinning, who claimed her sixth career title at the 2010 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, is fourth on the list but has retired from competition. With Suzann Pettersen, Trish Johnson, Florentyna Parker, Marianne Skarnord, Becky Brewerton and Christel Boeljon next on the list, there is a mixture of rookies and experience within the top 10 positions and the contenders on the periphery will all be hoping to use the 2011 LET season to stake their claims.
“With fewer than seven months to go until tee off at Killeen Castle, I am pleased with the way the European Solheim Cup team is quietly taking shape,” said Nicholas. “The early part of this season will offer the opportunity for all of the European players to demonstrate their skills as they seek to qualify for the team and it will be exciting to watch who will carry their form forward and what new talents emerge.”
Norwegian Suzann Pettersen , the World No.5, currently leads the Europeans on the Rolex Rankings followed by Anna Nordqvist, Maria Hjorth, Catriona Matthew and Sophie Gustafson, who won the AIB Ladies Irish Open last year at Killeen Castle, The Solheim Cup venue. They are closely followed by Melissa Reid and Azahara Muñoz.
With plenty to play for, there are guaranteed to be many twists and turns before the team is confirmed on 29th August. The 2011 USA Solheim Cup Team will be announced a week earlier on Sunday 21st August at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, Aug. 19-21 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Oregon.
About The Solheim Cup:
The Solheim Cup is named in honour 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 representing the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 8-3. The 2011 Solheim Cup will be played at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, Sept. 23-25. The 2013 Solheim Cup will be contested at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Rolex is a Global Partner of The Solheim Cup. For tickets and information, log on to www.SolheimCup.com.
About the Ladies European Tour
The Ladies European Tour (LET) is Europe’s leading women’s professional golf tour and formed as the WPGA in 1978. Over the last 33 years, the tour has developed into a truly international organisation and in 2011 will operate 28 golf tournaments in 19 different countries worldwide. The LET professional players represent 34 countries and their game is broadcast in 240 million homes in 80 countries around the globe. Follow the LET online at ladieseuropeantour.com or on Twitter @LETgolf.