Monday, August 3, 2015

Solheim Cup Update - Just two weeks left

With the LPGA taking the week off, it is a good time to look at the fight for for the remaining spots on the 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. There are just 2 tournaments remaining for players to accumulate points, or move up in the Rolex Rankings. Captain Juli Inkster has that long to decide who her 2 captain's picks will be.

2015 Captain Juli Inkster will have to make some very hard decisions in the next two weeks

Qualifications For Entry:
1- A player must finish in the top 8 on the Solheim Cup points list.
2- The top 2 players in the Rolex Rankings that have not already qualified.
3- There will be 2 captain's picks.

Points are accumulated the following way:
(From the first event after the previous Solheim Cup match in 2013 through the end of the 2014 season)
Winner - 40 points, 2nd - 20 points, 3rd - 18 points, 4th - 17 points, all the way down to 20th - 2 points.
(The 2015 season tournaments, leading up to the Solheim match)
Winner - 60 points, 2nd - 30 points, 3rd - 28.5 points, 4th - 27 points, 5th - 25.5 points, all the way down to a 20th place finish worth 3 points.
The reason for the increased points for the last part of the term is to give an advantage to the players who are hot going into the match. 
Points are doubled for major championships.

Here are the top 8 Solheim Cup point leaders as of today:
1- Stacy Lewis - 1009.5 
2- Lexi Thompson - 681.5
3- Cristie Kerr - 481.5
4- Michelle Wie - 463.5
5- Brittany Lincicome - 440.5
6- Morgan Pressel - 380.5
7- Angela Stanford - 326.5
8- Gerina Piller - 318.5
The above 8 players would make the team on points if it was held today. It is worth noting that all of the above players were on the 2013 team.

9- Lizette Salas - 291.5
10- Brittany Lang - 277.5
10-  Paula Creamer - 277.5
12-Jessica Korda - 259
13- Austin Ernst - 191.5
14- Mo Martin - 173
15- Christina Kim - 132
The above 7 players would fail to qualify via the points system.

Here are the highest Rolex Ranked players that wouldn't have already qualified:
Lizette Salas - #30 in current Rolex Rankings
Paula Creamer - #33
The above 2 players would make the team via the Rolex Rankings.
It is also worth noting that both of these players were also on the 2013 team.

Jessica Korda - #34
Brittany Lang #39
Alison Lee - #44
Mo Martin - #45
Austin Ernst #56
Christina Kim - #60
The above 6 players would fail to qualify via the Rolex Rankings.

Once again it is interesting to point out that all 10 players that would qualify as of today, were on the 2013 team. Brittany Lang and Jessica Korda, the other 2 members of the 2013 team, do not qualify at this point.

It then comes down to the 2 captain's picks. Who is most worthy? 
Jessica Korda? - Does not deserve being picked at this point mainly because she does not appear to be healthy.
Brittany Lang? - Was playing well before badly missing the cut at the British Open. Has been inconsistent all year.
Mo Martin - Although her ability to hit almost every fairway can be advantageous in Solheim Cup play, she simply hasn't done much after her B.O. win.
Austin Ernst? - On a team that desperately needs new blood, she needs to do something spectacular the next two weeks.
Christina Kim? - Though she brings some fire with her, what has she actually done to earn a pick?

There are other questions captain Juli Inkster will have to answer.
1- If Paula Creamer does not hold on to that last spot, is she playing well enough to be picked? Juli and Paula have teamed up in Solheim play many times, but my bet is that that will not be a factor in her decision.
2- Is Michelle Wie healthy enough to play? Juli must get an honest answer here, as we don't want a repeat of the Cristie Kerr situation in 2011.

My advise to Juli Inkster:
Alison Lee is a no-brainer. She has almost made the team on her own, and only had half the time to do it.
Kim Kaufman may not be ready yet, and even you might not want to hear the critics if you made such a bold pick. But this girl has the game, and I would watch her carefully the next two weeks.

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  1. Neither Michelle Wie nor Paula Creamer deserve to be gifted that stage. Mo Martin and/or Austin Ernst should have the opportunity to experience the country/team competition.

    1. Michelle Wie qualified based on her points. I also thought Mo Martin or Austin Ernst would be picked by the captain. I guess Juli picked by her past experiences.