U.S. Solheim Cup roster: Meet the 2021 U.S. team
Catriona Matthew, both the golfer and the golf fan, gushed about Nelly Korda.
“Yeah, she’s obviously been very impressive the last few months,” Matthew said a few weeks back. “I think without a doubt, she’s got that potential to be dominant. You know, she hits it long. Well, to be world No. 1 you have to do everything well. If she can keep that form going, I don’t see why she couldn’t be dominant.
“I think it is good for women’s golf to have a dominant player. You saw how Tiger elevated the PGA Tour. If you have someone that becomes dominant, she starts to be known by non-golfers, which then maybe encourages them to come and watch golf.”
Then Matthew, the European Solheim Cup captain, figuratively put on her European Solheim Cup captain cap.
“For Solheim to have the world No. 1 player, it’s a great thing, and in match play, as we’ve seen in a lot of 18-hole events, anyone can beat anyone,” said Matthew when asked if she would have any mixed emotions due to her appreciation for Korda and her allegiance to Europe. “Certainly all the pressure will be on her to beat our team.”
Korda and the U.S. — with eight of 12 players, including Korda, in the top 30 in the world rankings — will meet the European squad Saturday through Monday at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
A look at the U.S. Solheim Cup roster
Nelly Korda: This year, Korda has won three times on the LPGA Tour, including her first major (the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship), won Olympic gold and rose to No. 1 in the world rankings. A Solheim Cup victory would solidify one of the best-ever seasons in women’s golf. She’s played in one Solheim Cup, going 3-0-1 two years ago, which included two wins with sister Jessica.
Danielle Kang: Kang, ranked No. 7 in the world, has won five times on the LPGA Tour. One of those victories came last July at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness, site of the Solheim Cup. She’s played in two Solheim Cups, going 4-4-0.
Ally Ewing: Ewing, ranked No. 22, has two wins on the LPGA Tour, including this year’s match play event, which should serve her well at Inverness. She made her Solheim Cup debut in 2019 as an injury replacement for Stacy Lewis and went 1-3-0.
Austin Ernst: Ernst, ranked No. 27, has won three times on the LPGA Tour, including this year’s LPGA Drive On Championship in March. She’s played in one Solheim Cup, going 2-2-0.
Lexi Thompson: Thompson, ranked No. 12, has won 11 times on the LPGA Tour, including one major, and she had a shot at a second before struggling down the stretch at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open. She’s played in four Solheim Cups, going 5-4-6.
Jessica Korda: Korda, ranked No. 17, has six wins on the LPGA Tour, including this year’s season opener, the Tournament of Champions. She’s played in two Solheim Cups, going 4-2-2.
Megan Khang: Khang, ranked No. 36, has not won on the LPGA Tour, but has 23 top 10s since turning pro in 2016. She’s played in one Solheim Cup, going 0-2-1.
Lizette Salas: Salas, ranked No. 14, has one win and 34 career top 10s since turning pro in 2012, including a tie for second at this year’s Women’s Open. She’s played in four Solheim Cups, going 6-6-2.
Jennifer Kupcho: Kupcho, ranked No. 28, has not won on the LPGA Tour, but has nine career top 10s since turning pro in 2019, including four this year. This is her Solheim Cup debut.
Brittany Altomare: Altmore, ranked No. 54, has not won on the LPGA Tour, but has 15 career top 10s since turning pro in 2014, including three this year. She’s played in one Solheim Cup, going 2-1-1 in 2019.
Mina Harigae: Harigae, ranked No. 61, has not won on the LPGA Tour, but has 18 career top 10s since turning pro in 2010, including four this year. In announcing Harigae as one of her three captain’s picks, captain Pat Hurst said: “I kind of went out on a limb and invited her to one of our team bonding deals, and she was all-in for that. It was a lot of fun. She was totally a part of the team, and that was great to see. I think once we did that, she kind of took off after that. She played well. And so it was there, I can tell that she wanted to be on the team from then on out.” This is Harigae’s Solheim Cup debut.
Yealimi Noh: Noh, ranked No. 31, has not won on the LPGA Tour, but has seven career top 10s since turning pro last year, including a third-place showing at the Evian Championship. This is her Solheim Cup debut.