Solheim Cup: Captain Koch names rookie-free Europe teamAugust, 2015 The Scoop
Matthew, Masson, Icher and Hedwall make up Koch's dozen
Nine of Europe’s record-breaking Solheim Cup team from 2013 will attempt to make it three in a row in Germany on September 18-20.
Carin Koch named four picks and there were no surprises as Karine Icher, Catriona Matthew, Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall made up the Swede’s outfit.
Previously Suzann Pettersen, Gwladys Nocera, Charley Hull and Mel Reid came through the Solheim Cup Points while Anna Nordqvist, Aza Munoz, Sandra Gal and Carlota Ciganda qualified through the Rolex Points.
From Colorado Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Beatriz Recari and Giulia Sergas are missing though there will have been few complaints.
The main drama came when Reid overtook Ciganda with a gutsy display in the final qualifying event in the Czech Republic but the Spaniard, who surely would have got a pick anyway, then made it through the world rankings.
For Nocera it is a sweet return having played on three teams, the last time was 2009, so she is yet to play on a winning side.
And the home fans will have plenty to cheer with Gal and Masson’s inclusion. Masson was part of the 2013 outfit while Gal played in Ireland four years ago.
Masson, who won 2.5 points as a rookie, can’t wait to get going: “It’s been a huge goal to make the team for the last two years and I have been waiting for that call, to see what decision Carin would make. When she told me I was a pick I was super happy and I can’t wait to tee up in Germany in front of my friends and family. I feel so happy and fortunate to be a part of it.”
Last time out Hedwall became the first player to win all five matches and, though her form has been patchy this year, there was no chance of arriving in Germany without the 26-year-old Swede.
She added: “I’m just really excited about it. After my last two tournaments I wasn’t expecting anything and when Carin called I was really happy because I love the Solheim Cup and I’m really pumped to get to Germany and play. I love that team and I’m really excited to get back to Europe.
“When I played in the Ladies European Tour event in Germany the crowds were really good and comparable with those in Sweden. A lot of my friends will drive from Sweden because it’s not that far, so I’m hoping people will come from all over Europe to support the team.”
And Matthew, who at 46 remains the elder stateswoman on the team, was thrilled to make an eighth appearance.
“Obviously I was delighted and very excited when Carin gave me the phone call. It has always been my favourite event and to play as part of a team is so good! Since winning in Colorado my main aim has been to get in the team. As you get older, it gets harder to qualify but this will be my eighth one so it will be great to play at home and defend it hopefully.”
"It’s been a huge goal to make the team for the last two years and I have been waiting for that call" – Caroline Masson
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