Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Race to the Solheim Cup - Part 2

It is hard to believe that almost four months have passed since I last wrote about the players vying for spots on the United States Solheim Cup Team. Since that post the ladies have played eight more tournaments, in which 4 were major championships that award the players double points.

First let us review how points are awarded:

United States players accumulate points by finishing in the top 20 of an LPGA tournament. The higher you finish, the more points you accumulate. Players started accumulating points in August of 2009 and will continue to do so through the Safeway classic to be held at the end of this month.Points are increased for the tournaments played this year by 50%, to put a special emphasis on the players who are hot going into the event. Points are doubled for all four major championships. The 10 players with the most points qualify automatically. Captain Rosie Jones gets to add two additional players of her choice.

With just one more tournament left to accumulate points, let's see how it is shaping up:

1- Cristie Kerr - 750 points
2- Morgan Pressel 447.5
3- Stacy Lewis 446.5
4- Angela Stanford 438.5
5- Paula Creamer 407.5
6- Michelle Wie 358
7- Brittany Lincicome 350.5
8- Brittany Lang 270.5
9- Julie Inkster 188.5
10-Christina Kim 150.5

Let us assume that with just one event left the above 10 names will automatically qualify, and look deeper into the list.

11- Katie Futcher 133
12- Kristy McPherson 130
13- Vicky Hurst 112.5
14- Wendy Ward 89
15- Patty Hurst 86.5
16- Natalie Gulbis 72.5

I don't think think anyone else further down the list will get any consideration.

In my opinion Katie Futcher will be one of the 2 picks. She has fared very well in 3 of the four majors, finishing 3rd at the Kraft, and 14th in the LPGA Championship and British Open. The final pick will not be as easy. McPherson (who has one win and 3 losses in previous Solheim competition) and Vicky Hurst have not played well all year. Wendy Ward hasn't played much better and has missed four cuts. Gulbis has done nothing lately to play herself on to the team, but has Solheim experience and a 5-4-1 record. Patty Hurst finished eighth at the LPGA Championship, but has played poorly most of the year, missing 5 cuts. Whoever Rosie chooses could very well be a weak link for the U.S. team going against an improved European team on foreign soil.

Some other tidbits:

Qualifying for the Titleholders Championship this week are Dewi Claire Schreefel, Candy Kung and Karen Stupples. Katherine Hull remains the highest ranked player on the "Priority List" yet to qualify.

Entering the British Open, I.K. Kim and Suzann Pettersen had been the only players to finish in the top 20 in every tournament this year. Both streaks came to an abrupt halt as both players finished tied for 37th place.

Rolex Moves of the Week:

Brittany Lang moved from #58 to #32
Caroline Masson from #141 to #86

Will the real Ai Miyazato please stand up?

Ai's season of inconsistency continues. Here are her last 4 starts:

LPGA Championship - Missed Cut
U.S. Open - Tied for 6th
Evian Masters - First Place
British Open - Missed Cut

Hard to Believe Fact of the Week:

Jee Young Lee, the #19 ranked LPGA player on the Priority List, has missed 5 consecutive cuts and 8 cuts in 11 starts this year.

[NoteHound Dog also did a Solheim Cup post recently, going over how the Safeway could affect the points race and suggesting that Paige Mackenzie get some consideration as a 2nd captain's pick after Futcher. --TC]


Jim C said...

I think a future LPGA player like Lexi Thompson should be eligible to be a captain's pick. I think Lexi is one of the top 12 Americans and a player who would add to the appeal of the Cup this year.

oli3 said...

Jim, she's only 16... she'll be there soon enough!!

My question... if Katie catches Christina with a good finish in Portland, THEN who are your picks? I think Christina is an awesome pick when the matches are at home, but her antics don't go over as well on the other side of the pond.

tony jesselli said...

Oli3- I would still go with Christina because of her experience and the fact nobody else is playing well.