Captains agree on Solheim fave; Yin: ‘We’re going to kill it’

Captains agree on Solheim fave; Yin: ‘We’re going to kill it’
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On paper, this year’s European Solheim Cup team is one of the best ever. Captain Suzann Pettersen would argue, THE best ever. She’s not shying away from the role of favorite.

“I don’t think there’s anything to hide under a chair that if you look on paper, we have the strongest team that I’ve ever been a part of, and that’s based on great performances over the last few years from all the players. So with good results, there’s also expectations, but these girls are so up for it, so we can’t wait,” Pettersen said Wednesday.

The 42-year-old Norwegian has competed in nine Solheim Cups as a competitor and was a vice captain in ’21, so she has quite the frame of reference.

This European team also has quite a bit going its way. This is a home match, at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain, and the Euros are two two-time defending champions.

There are only three cup rookies on the team and all – Linn Grant, Maja Stark and Gemma Dryburgh – are LPGA winners.

“I think this is a very, very strong team. It’s got a lot of depth to the team as well. So where before, we had a lot of strong players, but then sometimes the back end of the team wasn’t as strong, but I feel like we’re pretty strong all the way through. I think we’ve got a good chance this year,” Charley Hull, who boasts an 11-5-3 Solheim Cup record, said Wednesday.

The U.S. side isn’t weak, by any measure. Though it has five cup rookies, that includes ’23 major champs Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz, along with ’23 tour winners Rose Zhang and Cheyenne Knight (Andrea Lee won last year).

U.S. captain Stacy Lewis, however, is comfortable in the underdog role and has no problem putting the pressure on her opponent’s shoulders.

“No, I think Europe’s the favorite,” she said Wednesday. “They have won the last two, we’re on their soil, they have a great team that has a ton, a ton of experience in this event. So, you look at history, you know, it doesn’t bode well for us. But I love our chances. I love these rookies. I think they’re going to have a great week and hopefully surprise a lot of people.”

Speaking of surprises, two-time cup participant Angel Yin was taken aback when a reporter suggested to her that Europe was the favorite this week.

“That’s news to me because I never heard anything like that,” she said with a laugh. “Actually, I’ve been hearing that we’re the favorites because we’re just playing so good. So, I haven’t heard that yet. Yeah, I think we’re just going to kill it. I mean, I haven’t heard anything other than that, other than we’re just going to kill it.”

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