Golf: Europeans confident of revenge
Tuesday 25 August 1998
Evidence of the problem came in the 8-2 singles defeat at The Greenbrier four years ago and in the 10-2 thrashing in the singles at St Pierre in 1996. The latter was all the more devastating as the home side led by two points going into the final day.
But for the first time the question facing the new captain, Pia Nilsson, as the qualifying came to an end with Annika Sorenstam's victory in the Compaq Open on Sunday, was who to leave out. Nilsson would have been happy with a 15-woman side but settled for a combination featuring six Swedes, four English players, a Scot and a Frenchwoman.
After the seven automatic qualifiers were known -- Sorenstam, the world No 1, only gaining a guaranteed spot with her win - Nilsson had no hesitation in selecting Stoke-on-Trent's Lisa Hackney, last year's rookie of the year in the States, Liselotte Neumann and Catrin Nilsmark as three of her five wild cards.
Nilsson, Mickey Walker's vice-captain two years ago, was also keen to include Charlotta Sorenstam, Annika's younger sister, despite the fact that the pair hardly speak, and her only dilemma was between Sophie Gustafson and Maria Hjorth, who missed out on an automatic place. Gustafson, for her long-hitting and ability to make birdies, got the place.
Catriona Matthew is one of only three Solheim rookies, along with Gustafson and the younger Sorenstam, while five players have played in all four previous matches.
"I am feeling relaxed now I know my team, because I am confident we are going to Muirfield Village to put up a strong performance," Nilsson said. "This is a really strong side and we have a good chance of winning."
Arguably, the last two places should have gone to two young Scots, Mhairi McKay and Janice Moodie, both of whom distinguished themselves in the Curtis Cup as amateurs and are enjoying impressive debut seasons in America. But McKay is a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding the weekend of the match, while Moodie has not played enough events in Europe to be eligible.
EUROPEAN SOLHEIM CUP TEAM (v the United States, Muirfield Village, Ohio, 18-20 September): H Alfredsson, L Davies, S Gustafson, L Hackney, T Johnson, M-L de Lorenzi, C Matthew, L Neumann, A Nicholas, C Nilsmark, A Sorenstam, C Sorenstam.
Latest in Sport
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and still qualify for the Champions League
Kyle Walker video: Tottenham defender categorically denies 'disgusting' rumours on Facebook
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...