Paula Creamer has played in four Solheim Cups and she adores the event. But Killeen Castle in 2011 still hurts. 

The American was out first in the singles on the final day – but was crushed 6 and 5 by Catriona Matthew.

The USA went on to suffer a 15-13 defeat – Creamer’s first reverse in US colours – and she admitted: “It was one of the hardest things I had to go through.

“I had a tough loss. Catriona played great but I felt I had let the team down.”

Cristie Kerr also has painful memories of two years ago. She had to pull out of the singles with a wrist injury.

“No one knows what I went through to play that week and then not to play singles,” she said. “It’s given me a little extra motivation.”

For Michelle Wie, the extra incentive is to prove Captain Meg Mallon was right to hand her a wild card. 

“I really wanted this,” said the 23-year-old as she looked forward to a third successive appearance. “I’m so happy and feel great.”

Wie, surrounded by controversy in so much of her career, has brought attention recently with a rather unusual putting style. She bends over like a table-top.  

“But I don’t care what I look like as long as the putts go in,” she said. “And the stats prove me right.”

Jessica Korda, 20, and Lexi Thompson, 18, are the two youngest members of team USA. Both have won on Tour and exude the confidence of youth.

“I feel pretty calm so far,” said Thompson, the youngest ever US Solheim player. “This Solheim has been a goal of mine for the past two years so it’s great to be here.”  

All the US players acknowledge the help of the home fans – they have already turned out in thousands to support the cause.

Mallon has also come in for unanimous praise. “I’ve always idolised Meg,” said Kerr, the most experienced member of the US side. “When she speaks, you listen.” 

The 35-year-old played in practice with strapping on her right elbow – but she dispelled any injury worries.

“It’s tendonitis, but it’s fine,” she reassured. “In fact, it’s the best it’s been all year.”