Nordqvist: Solheim pressure all on USA

Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist believes Europe’s players have nothing to prove against a USA team trying to avoid an unprecedented third straight Solheim Cup defeat.

Europe are seeking a hat-trick of victories after success in 2011 and 2013, the latter representing a first win on US soil since the biennial contest began in 1990.

Eleven of the American team on the receiving end of that 18-10 thrashing in Colorado are at St Leon-Rot in Germany to attempt to regain the trophy, with the only rookie, Alison Lee, suffering from a bout of food poisoning and ruled out of at least Friday’s opening foursomes.

US captain Juli Inkster has insisted on a ‘business-first’ approach from her team, banning the face paint and temporary tattoos worn by the players two years ago.

“You can tell, definitely,” Nordqvist said. “I think they lost the last two cups and there is definitely more pressure on them.

“I feel like our team, we don’t have to prove ourself with the last two victories. I think they have a lot of pressure.

“There’s been a lot of talk about who’s the underdog and who should win. The American team is definitely stronger in the stats. I think their average in the world ranking is 24 or 25, and we’re 50.

“So I think they have the pressure this week.

“Maybe Juli is trying to take a different approach but I think we really have a strong team and we have a good plan.”

European captain Carin Koch has nine of the 12 players who won in Colorado on her side.

Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen will face Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer in the first match, with English pair Melissa Reid and Charley Hull, who had a hole-in-one in practice on Thursday, up against Brittany Lincicome and Michelle Wie.

Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher then take on Kerr and Lexi Thompson, with Catriona Matthew and Germany’s Sandra Gal in the final match against Lizette Salas and Stacy Lewis.

Phil Casey


Lifestyle

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