2023 Solheim Cup Kicks Off with Intense Competition Between U.S. and Europe
By Kikue Higuchi
The highly anticipated 2023 Solheim Cup has finally arrived, bringing together two 12-player teams from the United States and Europe. Led by LPGA legends Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen, the teams will battle it out over three days of thrilling competition at Finca Cortesin in Spain. The tournament will feature two days of foursome and fourball matches, followed by a final day of head-to-head singles matches.
The United States has historically dominated the Solheim Cup, holding a 10-7 edge over Team Europe. However, this year’s competition is expected to be closer than ever. The Americans have won three straight Solheim Cups twice in the past, from 1994 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2009. However, they haven’t claimed victory since 2017, while the Europeans have won back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2021. This year, Team Europe has the opportunity to achieve their first-ever three-peat. With several key players returning from their previous wins, Team Europe has the momentum on their side. Captain Pettersen, who famously clinched the 2019 victory with a final birdie putt before retiring, will be leading the charge. Major champions Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall, who both had impressive performances in previous Solheim Cups, will also be competing.
The United States will face a tough challenge in their quest to prevent a European three-peat. The Europeans have been dominant on their home soil, with the U.S. winning only three times in Europe since the inception of the Solheim Cup.
Both teams will feature a mix of experienced players and Solheim Cup rookies. This year, a total of eight players will be making their Solheim Cup debuts, with three rookies on the European Team and five on the U.S. Team. Despite their rookie status, these players are some of the best and brightest on the LPGA Tour. They have already achieved significant success, with several of them earning their first Tour wins in the past two seasons. The U.S. rookies include Allisen Corpuz, Cheyenne Knight, Andrea Lee, Lilia Vu, and Rose Zhang, while the European rookies are Gemma Dryburgh, Linn Grant, and Maja Stark.
On the other end of the spectrum, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden stands out as the most experienced player in the field. Nordqvist has participated in seven Solheim Cups and has been a key contributor to Team Europe’s success. With her wealth of experience, Nordqvist has been selected as a vice captain by Pettersen and will also be playing in the tournament. As a three-time major champion, Nordqvist is expected to make a significant impact on the competition.
The U.S. team boasts one of its youngest rosters ever, with an average age of 25.83. This young team includes rising stars such as Rose Zhang, who made history by winning in her professional debut, and Nelly Korda, who has been a standout player on the LPGA Tour. Despite their youth, these players have already achieved remarkable success and are ready to take on the challenge of the Solheim Cup.
Sweden is well-represented on the European roster, with four Swedish players competing in the tournament. Alongside Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall, Linn Grant, and Maja Stark will be donning the blue and yellow of their home country. Hedwall, with her four Solheim Cup appearances, brings valuable experience to the team, while Grant and Stark are making their Solheim Cup debuts after impressive rookie seasons on the LPGA Tour.
The 2023 Solheim Cup promises to be an exciting and fiercely competitive tournament. Both teams are determined to claim victory and bring honor to their respective countries. Golf fans around the world will be eagerly watching as the U.S. and Europe battle it out for the crystal trophy.
2023 Solheim Cup: Team Europe Ready to Take on Team USA
This week, the highly anticipated 2023 Solheim Cup will finally take place, bringing together two 12-player teams from the United States and Europe. Led by LPGA legends Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen, the teams will engage in three days of intense competition at Finca Cortesin in Spain. The tournament will feature two days of foursome and fourball matches, followed by a final day of head-to-head singles matches, all in pursuit of the crystal trophy and the honor of winning for their respective countries.
The United States has historically dominated the Solheim Cup, holding a 10-7 edge over Team Europe. However, this year’s competition promises to be closer than ever. The Europeans have a chance to achieve their first-ever three-peat, having won the Cup in 2019 and 2021. With several key members returning from those winning teams, Team Europe enters the tournament with significant momentum. Captain Suzann Pettersen, who clinched the 2019 victory with a memorable final birdie putt, will lead a team that includes major champions Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall. The Americans, determined to reclaim the trophy, face the challenge of preventing the Europeans from securing a third consecutive victory, especially on foreign soil where the U.S. has only won three times in the Cup’s history.
Elite Eight Rookies
While both teams boast experienced players, this year’s Solheim Cup will also showcase the talents of eight rookies. Three rookies will represent Team Europe, including Gemma Dryburgh, Linn Grant, and Maja Stark. On the U.S. side, five rookies will make their Solheim Cup debuts: Allisen Corpuz, Cheyenne Knight, Andrea Lee, Lilia Vu, and Rose Zhang. Despite their rookie status, these eight players have already made significant impacts on the LPGA Tour. With victories and consistent success under their belts, they are more than ready to rise to the challenge of the Solheim Cup.
Anna Nordqvist: The Solheim Cup Veteran
Among the players participating in this year’s Solheim Cup, no one has more experience than Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist. Nordqvist has represented Team Europe in seven previous Cups, never missing a tournament since 2009. Throughout her Solheim Cup career, she has contributed 15.5 points to Team Europe’s victories, boasting an impressive overall record of 14-10-3. Nordqvist’s wealth of experience led Captain Pettersen to appoint her as a vice captain, but Nordqvist’s strong performance on the tour secured her a spot as a playing vice captain. Ranked 38th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Nordqvist is expected to make a significant impact on every level of this week’s competition.
Youthful U.S. Team
The U.S. team for this year’s Solheim Cup is one of the youngest in history, not only due to the presence of several rookies but also because of the overall age of the team. With an average age of 25.83, the U.S. squad is just shy of the record set in 2019. The team includes rising stars such as Rose Zhang, who made history as the second player ever to win in their professional debut. Other young talents like Allisen Corpuz, Cheyenne Knight, Andrea Lee, Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, Jennifer Kupcho, Megan Khang, and Angel Yin bring a fresh and dynamic energy to the team. Despite their youth, the team also features experienced players like Danielle Kang, Ally Ewing, and Lexi Thompson, who bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to the competition.
Sweden is well-represented on the European roster, with four Swedish players competing in the Solheim Cup. Alongside Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall, Linn Grant, and Maja Stark will proudly wear the blue and yellow of their home country. Hedwall, a member of the Ladies European Tour, brings her experience from four previous Solheim Cup appearances, contributing 8.5 points to Team Europe’s success. Hedwall and Nordqvist have previously partnered in the Cup, achieving a 3-2-0 record together. Grant and Stark, both rookies, have had impressive seasons leading up to their Solheim Cup debuts, with each securing an LPGA win. The Swedish quartet’s performance in this tournament will showcase the legacy of Swedish golf and potentially become a source of national pride for years to come.