There’s all to play for at the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week, with the European and American players competing for vital Solheim Cup points at Kingbarns Links.
The teams for the transatlantic match will be announced following the conclusion of play on Sunday, and with a sparse schedule during the first half of this year, several European players could still qualify for Annika Sorenstam’s team with a strong performance at the Scottish venue.
The top-ranked European player in the world rankings Anna Nordqvist, will have to rely on a wildcard pick to make the squad, having not played in the minimum number of required Ranking LET events following a bout of glandular fever, although as a stalwart of the team her exclusion is extremely unlikely.
As a result, Charley Hull, Suzann Pettersen, and Karine Icher, are now essentially guaranteed to be on the plane to Iowa, via the world rankings list, with Jodi Ewart Shadoff sitting in the fourth and final qualifying position.
The Englishwoman will need a strong performance if she is to ensure her place for next month’s match, for, with the higher-ranked Carlota Ciganda currently occupying the final spot on the Solheim Cup points list, and thus immediately jumping over to the world rankings list if she is overtaken, Shadoff could potentially still require a captain’s pick.
Meanwhile with 80 points available for the winner at the penultimate major of the year, and 79 points currently qualifying for the team, it really is as wide open as it gets. While making for an exciting finish, the legendary Swede is likely wishing that there had been a few more events on the Ladies European Tour calendar, not only to weed out the best golfers, but also because the players that ply their trade primarily on this side of the Atlantic, having only played a handful of events all season, are likely to be a little rusty.
England’s Georgia Hall, coming off the back of two top-ten finishes in the space of three weeks on the LPGA, and sitting atop the points list, can start her preparations for her rookie appearance at the event, while compatriot Florentyna Park will know that making the cut at Kingsbarns will be enough to secure her place in the squad.
It is another Englishwoman, Mel Reid, who currently sits in the remaining qualifying spot, although Danes Emily Pedersen and Nanna Koertz Madsen will be looking to defy the Scottish elements to make their own charge for the team at Kingsbarns Links.
Swedish rookie Madelene Sagstrom, who has enjoyed a sensational start to her LPGA career, veteran Catriona Matthew, Spain’s Azahara Munoz, and German duo Sandra Gal and Caroline Masson are among the big names likely to need a captain’s pick if they are to make the squad.
Teen sensation Nelly Korda is among the players looking to impress American captain Juli Inkster, with the rookie hoping to join older sister Jessica in Team USA’s bid to defend the trophy they won in Germany two years ago.
Michelle Wie, Brittany Lang and Women’s PGA champion Danielle Kang are also among the players that need a good performance this week to secure their place in the American squad.
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