Four English women in Solheim Cup team as Pettersen gets surprise wildcard pick

Suzann Pettersen

Suzann Pettersen is a surprise wildcard inclusion in Europe’s Solheim Cup team to face the United States at Gleneagles in Scotland from 13-15 September.

The Norwegian, ranked 620 in the world, has missed the cut in the only two events she has played since taking time off in November 2017 to have a baby.

Captain Catriona Matthew also picked Bronte Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England and France’s Celine Boutier.

England’s Charley Hull and Georgia Hall are in the 12-strong team too.

Hull and Hall qualified via their world ranking, along with Spain’s Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson of Germany and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Dutchwoman Anne van Dam qualified through the Solheim Cup points list.

‘I feel like I was born for this’

Pettersen, 38, has played in eight Solheim Cups. She missed the last event in 2017 because of injury and had initially been selected as a vice-captain for this year’s edition.

She missed the cut at her first event back a month ago, and again at the Ladies Scottish Open.

“I’m delighted I got the thumbs up from Beany [Catriona Matthew] that she wanted me on the team,” Pettersen said.

“It’s a massive honour for me to be here and I can’t wait, this is what I love. I feel like I was born for this.

“It’s been a different role for me the past two years. My life has changed a lot, for the better, but I’ve missed golf and am very happy to be back in competition.”

Van Dam, 23, will be making her debut after securing her place by finishing joint sixth at last week’s Ladies Scottish Open, the final qualifying event for Europe’s players.

Ciganda is the highest-ranked European in the world rankings, at 13th, with Hull 28th and Hall 32nd.

Law – ranked 25th after her first LPGA Tour victory in May – needed a wildcard pick because she had not played enough events on the Ladies European Tour.

Boutier strengthened her claim for a wildcard pick by finishing sixth at the Women’s British Open this month.

US captain Juli Inkster will name her squad after the CP Women’s Open, which finishes on 25 August. She will select two wildcard players, with 10 qualifying through their points system and world ranking positions.

The US, who have won 10 of the previous 15 Solheim Cups, are favourites to claim a third straight victory.

Europe have won on both occasions that the event has been held in Scotland, at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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