Thursday, August 2, 2012

Players Battle for Solheim Cup Position

We have reached the halfway point to the next Solheim Cup, which will be held at the Colorado Club in Parker, Colorado. As you may already know, players started accumulating points the very next tournament following last year's match. I don't think it is too early to take a look at the way things are shaping up.

The United States has changed the qualifications for entry. In previous years it was the top ten players who accumulated the most points, and then two captain's picks. They have now changed that to the top eight players off the point list, the 2 highest Rolex ranked players not already in, and 2 captain's picks.

Points are accumulated the following way:
(From the first event after the previous Solheim Cup match in 2011 through the end of the 2012 season)
Winner - 40 points, 2nd - 20 points, 3rd - 18 points, 4th - 17 points, all the way down to 20th - 2 points.
(The 2013 season tournaments, leading up to the Solheim match)
Winner - 60 points, 2nd - 30 points, 3rd - 28.5 points, 4th - 27 points, 5th - 25.5 points, all the way down to a 20th place finish worth 3 points.
The reason for the increased points for the last part of the term is to give an advantage to the players who are hot going into the match.

Lets see where we stand as of today:
1- Stacy Lewis - 349 Points (current Rolex Ranking #2)
2- Cristie Kerr - 178 (current RR #8)
3- Paula Creamer - 178 (current RR #12)
4- Angela Stanford - 150 (current RR #21)
5- Brittany Lincicome - 141 (current RR #16)
6- Brittany Lang - 133  (current RR #24)
7- Morgan Pressel - 70 (current RR # 26)
8- Natalie Gulbis - 70 (Current RR # 68)
The above 8 players would all be in if the tournament was held today.

9- Lexi Thompson - 69 (Current RR #25)
10- Katie Futcher - 69 (current RR #65)
11- Vicky Hurst - 66 (current RR # 68)
12- Michelle Wie - 53 (current RR# 41)
13- Mina Harigae - 49 (current RR #80)
14- Jessica Korda - 45 (current RR #76)
The above 6 players would have failed to qualify via the point system.

Highest Rolex-ranked players that wouldn't have already qualified:
1- Lexi Thompson - Ranked # 25
2- Michelle Wie - Ranked # 41
The above 2 players would get in via the Rolex Rankings.

The ten players above, highlighted in red, would all be on the team if the tournament were held today.
Then it gets interesting, because the team captain will have to pick two more players. As of this writing, that would be a hard decision. None of the remaining players are obvious choices, as none of them are playing that well. Since we have a year to go, I think someone not on this list could get hot, and be a captain's pick. Maybe someone like Jennifer Johnson? Only time will tell.

Another point I would like to make is that the above team is not all that different from the last team. Only Lexi and Natalie would be additions, taking the spots of last year's captain's picks, Ryann O'Toole and Vicky Hurst.

I will keep an eye on this in the weeks leading up to the 2013 Solheim Cup.

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