PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Around a half dozen golfers playing in the Meijer LPGA Classic will be shooting not only for the tournament title, but also for a chance to represent their country in the Solheim Cup tournament.
Played every other year, the Solheim Cup pits a team from Europe against Team USA. Only 12 players will make the U.S. team, two of whom will be captain’s picks.
Golfers have only four more tournaments to make this year’s team, which will be named Aug. 24.
“It’s very stressful,” LPGA pro Morgan Pressel said. “I was in that position a couple of years ago, where I was on the fence. I was actually outside looking in. It almost crippled my ability to play golf cause I was so worried about it. … The Solheim Cup is such a fun event and an honor to play for your country.”
Nearly a half dozen players already in the running for the team are hoping to at least maintain their spot.
“Just to represent your country, to put on the red white and blue, it’s definitely a little extra pressure,” LPGA pro Brittney Lincicome said. “You miss a five-footer, normally it’s like, ‘Oh I just missed a couple thousand dollars.’ But now you’re playing for such a bigger thing. It’s amazing. It’s a really great and amazing week.”
For those on the outside of the top eight, the four remaining tournaments offer a time to take chances, make up ground or impress enough to earn a captain’s selection.
The team is led by captain Julie Inkster, who has been a mentor and inspiration to almost all of the pros on the tour.
“Julie’s one of those players that irreplaceable,” LPGA pro Angela Stanford said. “She comes along once in a lifetime, and she’s meant so much for the game and our tour.”
Team USA will have extra motivation this year, having lost the last two Solheim Cups, including, most recently, the first ever on U.S. soil two years ago in Colorado.
“We need to right the ship, and the only people that are going to turn that around are the players,” Inkster said. “So hopefully we’ll have a little better attitude, maybe a little better work ethic, and go in there and play some good golf.”
The 2015 Solheim Cup is scheduled for Sept. 18 through Sept. 20 at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany.