Team Europe Captain Suzann Pettersen has revealed her four Captain's picks ahead of the 2023 Solheim Cup
It's only 30 days to go until Team Europe and Team USA battle it out at Finca Cortesin in Casares, Spain where Team Europe will be aiming for a third straight victory after retaining the Solheim Cup with a 15-13 defeat of Team USA on home soil at Inverness Club two years ago.
After the completion of the ISPS Handa World Invitational on Sunday evening, where Alexa Pano won her first LPGA and LET title on her 19th Birthday, the final Solheim Cup points and World Ranking points were finalised for Team Europe.
This year there were eight automatic qualifying spots to be filled with Team Europe Captain Suzann Pettersen getting four picks, unlike the six that her predecessor Catriona Matthew had due to Covid restrictions on play.
Team Europe automatic qualifiers
The players who automatically qualified were announced on Sunday evening, with two players coming from the LET Solheim Cup points system and six qualifying via the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings
Celine Boutier (LET SC 264.57 points)
Maja Stark (LET SC 262.42 points)
Charley Hull (Rolex World Rankings)
Leona Maguire (Rolex World Rankings)
Georgia Hall (Rolex World Rankings)
Linn Grant (Rolex World Rankings)
Carlota Ciganda (Rolex World Rankings)
Anna Nordqvist (Rolex World Rankings)
France’s Celine Boutier topped the LET Solheim Cup Points standings with 264.57 points thanks in part to her back-to-back victories at The Amundi Evian Championship and the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open Presented by Trust Golf.
Boutier, who made her Solheim Cup debut in 2019, is a two-time winner and has won 5.5 points in her seven matches at the previous two editions.
Maja Stark and Linn Grant will both be making their Solheim Cup debuts. Two fantastic additions to the team who would likely make a good pairing.
Leona Maguire makes a welcome return after a strong showing in her rookie performance back in 2021:
“I’m really excited to be part of the European Team at this year’s Solheim Cup. I had an incredible time in Toledo, it was way beyond my expectations, but I can’t wait to be part of Team Europe on European soil and to play in front of home fans. It’s great to be flying the flag for Ireland once again and I hope to have lots of support in Spain.”
Whilst Anna Nordqvist will be a playing vice captain after she secured her place in the final automatic qualifying spot via the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Suzann Pettersen Captain's picks
But who is joining this already strong-looking European side? Team Europe Captain Suzann Pettersen made her announcement live on Sky Sports in the UK on Tuesday afternoon.
Pettersen's first pick was Madelene Sagstrom from Sweden, who Pettersen described as a "super solid player". Sagstrom is the fourth Swede to make the European Team and will be making her third appearance (2017, 2021 and 2023).
"I am super proud and super honoured, this is my dream," said Sagstrom from Vancouver where she is playing this week on the LPGA Tour.
Next up was Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh, currently within the world top 50 players. A rookie appearance for Dryburgh but a player that has many years of experience playing on the LPGA, including her victory in Japan last year. Pettersen was keen to point out that Dryburgh cool and calm demeanour will be an asset to the team.
Also in Vancouver, Dryburgh said: "So special, it's still sinking in. To be part of Team Europe means so much. It's something I have dreamed of since I was a little girl."
Pettersen's third pick, may be a bit of a surprise if you go by world ranking but not if you go by Solheim Cup experience, another Swede Caroline Hedwall will be making her fifth appearance. The captain said: "I can't see the team without her in it."
“I’m just really excited to play another Solheim Cup,” commented Hedwall. “It’s my absolute favourite event to play, so I can’t wait for the week to start! “Having great memories from the end of last year in Andalucía, I hadn’t thought much about Solheim until I won and after that, it was a goal for the season. I’m just really happy it became a reality and super pumped to play in Spain again.”
Finally, Denmark’s Pedersen received the final pick and will also be teeing it up in her third Solheim Cup, after she made her debut in 2017 and rolled in the putt that sealed victory on American soil in 2021.
“I’m super proud to get picked,” said the 2020 Race to Costa del Sol champion. “I’m stoked because Suzann is someone that I’ve always looked up to. “I haven’t yet played a Solheim Cup in Europe and I really wanted to play this. Spain has a really special place in my heart, I love Spain and I’m super happy to be able to represent Europe once again.”
So there you have it... Here is Team Europe for the 2023 Solheim Cup. We will find out who they will be facing next Monday August 28 when Team USA Captain Stacy Lewis makes her picks.