Sunday, August 4, 2013
Wie, Piller added to Solheim Cup team
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Morgan Pressel played her way onto another Solheim Cup team. Michelle Wie is returning as a captain's pick.
The American and European teams were completed Sunday at St. Andrews at the Women's British Open, the final qualifying event. Pressel tied for fourth and bumped Jennifer Johnson from the last of two spots through the world ranking.
Then, Mallon took Wie and Solheim Cup rookie Gerina Piller as her captain's picks.
"Michelle to me was a no-brainer," Mallon said of the 23-year-old from Hawaii, who hasn't won since the 2010 Canadian Women's Open. "With her experience, she can handle the big stage. She's played well in Solheim Cups, and I just really believe in Michelle Wie."
Wie is 4-3-1 in two appearances.
European captain Liselotte Neumann used one of her four picks on 17-year-old Charley Hull of England, making her the youngest player in Solheim Cup history. The other picks went to Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England, Caroline Hedwall of Sweden and Giulia Sergas of Italy.
"I find her energetic, fearless and I think she's just a great competitor," Neumann said about the English teen.
Hull played on the Junior Solheim Cup team two years ago when Neumann was the captain.
Missing from the European team was Laura Davies, who had played in every Solheim Cup since it began in 1990. Neumann said Davies told her on Saturday that she hasn't played enough and hasn't performed well enough to be on the team.
It marks the first time Laura Davies will not play in the Solheim Cup since the matches began in 1990.
The Solheim Cup is Aug. 16-18 at Colorado Golf Club.
Stacy Lewis, an hour after winning the Women's British Open with a birdie-birdie finish, led the U.S. standings and will play on her second straight team. The other seven Americans who qualified through points were Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang. Lizette Salas made her first team as one of two players from the world ranking.
The Americans have four rookies -- Piller, Salas, Thompson and Korda.
Mallon took Wie over Johnson, who won this year but has no Solheim Cup experience. Wie has been a talking point since she was 13, and there were rumblings that she should have earned her way on a team, especially when a player who has won this year was left off.
"I've said all along you have to be able to handle the pick. Michelle Wie can handle being on a big stage, being a big pick," Mallon said. "I kept thinking, `Do I want to leave five or six birdies a round at home on the couch?' I just couldn't do that."
Europe, which won two years ago in Ireland, has twice as many captain's picks. The four players who earned a spot through Ladies European Tour points were Suzann Pettersen of Norway, Carlota Ciganda of Spain, Catriona Matthew of Scotland and Caroline Masson of Germany. The other four from the world ranking were Karine Icher of France, Azahara Munoz of Spain, Beatriz Recari of Spain and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.
The Americans have an 8-4 lead in the competition. Europe has never won in consecutive years, and it will be trying to win for the first time on U.S. soil.
"It's obviously a big challenge," Neumann said. "I feel like this is really the team that's going to do it for us."