(Helsinki GC, Finland - August 28, 2005) European Team Captain Catrin Nilsmark opted for a team of experienced match-play competitors when she named her five wild cards for The 2005 Solheim Cup Matches at Crooked Stick Golf Club, which takes place in two weeks time at Crooked Stick GC.
|Catrin Nilsmark with the trophy|
Nilsmark chose Sweden's Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, England’s Karen Stupples and Catriona Matthew of Scotland to complete her 12 woman line up.
Koch, Gustafson, Pettersen, Stupples and Matthew join Annika Sörenstam (Sweden), Laura Davies (England), Ludivine Kreutz (France), Maria Hjorth (Sweden), Iben Tinning (Denmark), Trish Johnson (England) and Gwladys Nocera (France) from The Solheim Cup Standings for Automatic Selection.
Nilsmark, who also Captained the victorious 2003 European Solheim Cup team at Barsebäck Golf & Country Club, near Malmö, in Sweden, was fulsome in her praise of all her players, starting with the 24 year old Pettersen, who will make her third appearance in the biennial contest against the United States this September.
"I think Suzann plays really well and she’s proved herself too. She’s well physically,” said the Captain.
“She doesn’t have any troubles right now and she’s played really well over the last few weeks. It plays a big role."
"She really had to prove her form since Barseback. When she was there she didn’t strike the ball that well but she made good scores which shows that she’s strong minded and I like her attitude and that is just as important.”
The Captain also praised Stupples, who will make her debut appearance in The Solheim Cup this year in America.
“I think she’s been very steady over the past couple of years and she’s been waiting to get on The Solheim Cup team for a number of years and she made herself available," said Nilsmark.
“Karen played with Laura (Davies) in the Women’s World Cup of Golf earlier in the year and that definitely had an impact.”
Nilsmark was also pleased to announce the inclusion of Gustafson in her team. Gustafson has played in four Solheim Cup competitions.
"She’s had quite a few good weeks and I decided on her quite a long time ago along with Carin (Koch) and Catriona (Matthew),” said Nilsmark.
"It’s been a very, very hard decision. There are quite a few players in the States who have played very well. We looked at basically five players, Karen obviously was one of them, Patricia Meunier Lebouc from France another, Liselotta Neumann, Janice Moodie, and Karen Stupples. In the end we chose the 2004 British Open Champion.”
In addition to Stupples, there will two other Solheim Cup rookies in the European team: Ludivine Kreutz and Gwladys Nocera from France, both close friends.
“I’m very excited and it’s hard to imagine the atmosphere before I get there,” said Kreutz.
“I’ve felt comfortable since Sweden as I tried to calculate the points with my dad just to know if I was in for sure but it’s nice to hear it, especially following in the footsteps of Marie Laure (De Lorenzi), Patricia (Meunier Lebouc), Karine Icher and then Gwladys and me. Its nice to have two French players in the team.”
The Solheim Cup, a biennial trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the 12-best European-born players from the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour, (LET), and the 12-best U.S.-born players from the LPGA Tour, will take place from September 9-11 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, just outside Indianapolis, USA.
The Captain of The U.S. Solheim Cup Team will be Nancy Lopez. Lopez will have two Captain’s selections and the top ten on the U.S. Standings will automatically earn a berth on the US team, to be announced later today.
The 2005 European Solheim Cup Team
Annika Sörenstam (Sweden)
Laura Davies (England)
Ludivine Kreutz (France)
Maria Hjorth (Sweden)
Iben Tinning (Denmark)
Trish Johnson (England)
Gwladys Nocera (France)
Carin Koch (Sweden)
Catriona Matthew (Scotland)
Suzann Pettersen (Norway)
Sophie Gustafson (Sweden)
Karen Stupples (England)