European Solheim captain has a few fights on her hands

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European Solheim captain Dale Reid has a few fights on her hands - and they don't even involve the Americans.

European Solheim captain Dale Reid has a few fights on her hands - and they don't even involve the Americans.

Reid's fellow countrymen are upset she overlooked another Scot - Catriona Matthew - as one of her five wild-card picks for the biennial showdown against the United States.

Matthew has a strong case for being on the 12-woman team when play begins Friday on the banks of Scotland's most storied lake.

Even Reid admits it.

"I think she's got every reason to be upset, the girl's a darn good golfer," Reid said Tuesday as heavy rain and a forecast of more for Wednesday limited practice for the women's version of the Ryder Cup.

Only two of Reid's five wild cards - Janice Moodie, a Scot, and Carin Koch - rank higher on the LPGA money list than Matthew. Instead, Reid went for experience last month in picking Liselotte Neumann, Helen Alfredsson and Catrin Nilsmark - three Swedes who have played 14 Solheims between them.

Matthew played on the '98 team.

"I am very disappointed that Catriona did not get in the team as well," Reid said. "I've played the golf course. I feel I've picked the team in the best interest of the European side."

"I've gone with a side where I believe they're good match players," Reid added. "I would have loved to have another Scot in the team. I've gone with gut feeling. There's nothing I feel I have to justify. I feel I've picked the winning side and that's what we have to go with."

That's not Reid's only problem. European team member Annika Sorenstam - one of the seven automatic qualifiers - is upset her sister, Charlotta, was overlooked.

"I was really shocked when I saw the picks," she said.

Charlotta Sorenstam has an even stronger case than Matthew. Of the European wild cards, only Moodie ranks higher in LPGA winnings. Reid said she passed over Charlotta Sorenstam because of "personal problems."

"I spoke with Lotte (Lisolette Neumann) in Sweden and I think - I really don't want to go into it - but I know she has personal problems and I did not feel she was in the right frame of mind to be here this week."

On the course, this will be the sixth edition of the Solheim and Europe has won only once. Europe's last victory came eight years ago when the event was last played in Scotland - the Dalmahoy in Edinburgh.

Reid has called her team "slight favorites" this time, based on an experience edge with Laura Davies, Alison Nicholas, Alfredsson and Neumann having played in every Solheim. However, none are playing great golf.

American Dottie Pepper will also be playing her sixth.

Another lopsided European loss may prompt calls for an "all-world team" to meet the Americans, which would include players like Australian Karrie Webb and Korean Mi Hyun Kim.

Then there's the weather.

Loch Lomond layout was saturated with heavy rain last month. Blowing wind and rain shortened Tuesday practice with a similar forecast for Wednesday. However, forecasters are calling for some sun and slight chance of rain Friday through Sunday.

"Speaking broadly, it doesn't look bad at all and if we get lucky we might even have good conditions," said Martin Rowley, national forecaster for the British weather service.

Europe needs all the luck it can get.

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