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2023 Solheim Cup Preview

2023 Solheim Cup Preview

From Friday, 22nd to Sunday, 24th September 2023, the 7,367-yard, par 72 Finca Cortesin golf course in Casares, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain will be a fierce battleground. Team Europe will seek to edge out Team USA and clinch the Solheim Cup for the third consecutive occasion, but as fans can expect, the task won’t be easy. This year will mark the 18th edition of the biennial event since its launch in 1990, with the Americans having won 10 of the last 17 events but the Europeans winning four of the last six tournaments.

About the Event

The Solheim Cup gets its name from famous golf club manufacturer Karsten Solheim, who played an instrumental role in its creation. The event alternates between U.S. and European locations, and this year, it heads to Malaga, Spain, nicknamed “Costa del Golf” due to its golf-loving culture and more than 70 golf courses. The incredible Finca Cortesin course is world-class and worthy of hosting the Solheim Cup, and fans can expect blissful weather throughout the weekend. Malaga also offers excellent accommodations and top-notch facilities, such as the Maria Zambrano High-Speed Train Station and Costa del Sol International Airport. 

Format

Each team consists of 12 players. A total of 28 match play events occur across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with each match contributing one point, accruing to 28 points. Each match goes to a maximum of 18 holes, and in the case of a draw, each team gains a half point. The team that hits 14.5 points first is the Solheim Cup winner. If the teams draw 14-14, the defending champion retains the cup (in this case, Team Europe would win).

The 28 matches occur in three different types of matchplay:

  • Foursomes – two USA golfers face off against a European pair, each team using one ball and team members alternating between shots. The lowest scorers win the hole.
  • Fourballs – two golfers from each team participate in the match like in foursomes, but each player uses their ball this time. Only the better scorer per team counts for the score.
  • Singles – every Team Europe member plays against a Team USA opponent in a head-to-head contest.

Each day’s activity breakdown is as follows:

  • Friday – Four foursome matches happen in the morning, and four fourball games in the afternoon. A total of 8 players from each team participate, with 8 points up for grabs.
  • Saturday – Same as Friday. 8 points total.
  • Sunday – 12 singles matches occur, with all 24 players from both sides competing for 12 points.

Team USA 

Captain Stacy Lewis will steer the Americans in their bid to overturn their losses in the two previous Solheim Cups, taking over from Pat Hurst. Lewis will have three vice-captains: Angela Stanford, Natalie Gulbis, and Morgan Pressel.

To be eligible for Team USA, you must be a current LPGA Tour member and meet one of the below citizenship criteria:

  • Be a US citizen by birth, regardless of your birthplace
  • Be naturalized as a US citizen before age 18
  • Become a US citizen by adoption before age 13

Team Selection

The 12 players that made Team USA qualified through the below parameters:

  • The LPGA Solheim Cup points rankings‘ top seven players at the end of the Qualifying Period. The seven golfers who qualified under this category are Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, Allisen Corpuz, Megan Khang, Jennifer Kupcho, Danielle Kang, and Andrea Lee.
  • The Women’s World Golf Rankings’ top two players not already qualified under section one above. Rose Zhang and Lexi Thompson sailed under this category.
  • Three Captain’s selections. Cheyenne Knight, Ally Ewing, and Angel Yin are the three lucky Team USA 2023 Captain picks.

Key Players to Watch Out for in Team USA

  • Lilia Vu

Lilia Vu is a player who is on top form. In 2023 alone, the world number one female golfer has won two major championships – the Chevron Championship and the AIG Women’s Open. Vu could be the talisman the team needs.

  • Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda is, in many ways, the face of American womens golf. With one major win and 8 LPGA victories on her belt, the world number two also has valuable Solheim Cup experience, with a 5-2-1 record from 2019 and 2021.

  • Rose Zhang

Rose Zhang may only be a rookie, but the talented star has already unleashed her fangs on the world stage. After an outstanding amateur career, Zhang won her first LPGA event after turning pro and recorded three major championship top-10s in 2023.

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