If Des Moines Golf Club serves up anything like the drama we witnessed in Germany two years ago then it’s safe to say we’re going to spend the weekend glued to our TV screens.
If Des Moines Golf Club serves up anything like the drama we witnessed in Germany two years ago, then it’s safe to say we’re going to spend the weekend glued to our TV screens.
With legendary rivals Juli Inkster and Annika Sorenstam pitting two strong teams against each other, the stage is set for another excited match-up. Here’s everything you need to know.
Both team captains plumped for youth over experience when selecting their wildcards, with Annika Sorenstam travelling to Iowa with four rookies in her squad. Swede Madelene Sagstrom and Dane Emily Pedersen, both captain’s picks, are playing in their rookie season on the LPGA Tour, and have both impressed with a string of top-twenty finishes.
England’s Florentyna Parker will be somewhat of an unknown quantity for the American team, having only ever competed in Europe, while compatriot Georgia Hall made sure that she wasn’t with an incredibly impressive T-3 performance at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
On Team USA, you will find three rookies, the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang, Austin Ernst and eighteen-year-old LPGA Tour rookie Angel Yin.
What do we know about Des Moines?
The Pete Dye designed Des Moines Golf and Country Club will play to 6894 yards (par 73) and is a fantastic parkland style layout. Accuracy off the tee will be important as all holes are treelined and tight in many cases. Rough heights will be 1-3” and green speeds should be about 11.5 on the stimpmeter.
Excitement and drama is likely to unfold on the following holes:
Hole 1: 306 Yards
Playing slightly downhill, the par-4 1st hole will be driveable for many in the field. If players can manage their nerves for the opening hole tee shot, the 1st hole will yield lots of birdies and maybe the occasional eagle.
Hole 17: 186 Yards
Should a match make it to the par-3 17th, they will find a tough hole with a difficult green sloping from right to left and falling off into deep rough and bunkers. With late match nerves this could be a pivotal hole and decide the match.
Will the LET problems influence the match?
With the Ladies European Tour having only staged a handful of events this year, it’s worth begging the question whether the sparse scheduling will have a direct impact on the course of the match. In reality, only two of the twelve-strong squad ply their trade primarily on this side of the Atlantic, Florentyna Parker and Georgia Hall, and with the latter having recorded three top-ten finishes in America over the past two months after being given a handful of sponsors invites, you could argue that the impact will be negligible. It is notable however that all of Annika Sorenstam’s four picks are LPGA players.
Who are the favourites?
Despite winning on away soil for the first time four years ago, Europe must undoubtedly start as underdogs, with Juli Inkster’s squad the strongest fielded by an American captain for some considerable time.
The likes of Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, and Cristie Kerr are all returning to top form, while a resurgent Michelle Wie, whose inclusion in the squad just a few months ago looked incredibly unlikely, will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration to her teammates.
Europe will be buoyed by their legendary captain, whose captaincy may well be the team’s greatest asset, while with the likes of Charley Hull, Anna Nordqvist, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff returning to the squad, we’d be woe betide to write our side off.
Women & Golf Fashion Favourites: Mid-Layers. Read More