This week is the Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. It’s the biennial trans-Atlantic team matchplay competition among the professional lady golfers and it is considered the premier event in women’s world golf. Think of it as the Ryder Cup for Women. This week, we’ll see a formidable U.S. team which includes two Korean-Americans: Michelle Wie and Christina Kim. Go get’em ladies!
The Solheim Cup features 12 of the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour (LET) and 12 top American-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). It was founded in 1990 by Karsten Manufacturing Corporation (KMC), makers of PING golf equipment.
Players from both sides of the Atlantic compete for points in their respective Tour events to earn a coveted place on the team. Played over three days, The Solheim Cup consists of 28 matches – eight foursome matches, eight four-ball matches and 12 singles played on the final day.
Seven-year LPGA Tour veteran Christina Kim returns to the Solheim Cup this season after narrowly missing the 2007 U.S. Team. Remembered for pumping the crowd up at Crooked Stick in 2005, she has a 2-1-1 overall Solheim Cup record to her name. Kim is a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, and looks to bring her positive energy back to this year’s U.S. squad. A fan-favorite every time she tees it up, Kim finished tied for third at the 2009 RICOH Women’s British Open and seventh at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major championship of the year. Her two career victories came at the 2004 Longs Drugs Challenge and at The Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions in 2005. The 25-year-old has more than $3 million in career earnings and has racked up 35 top-10 finishes since her rookie season in 2003. Prior to becoming a member of the LPGA Tour, Kim earned medalist honors at the 2001 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, where she recorded a career-low 62, for the stroke-play portion of the event.
The first LPGA Tour rookie to qualify for the U.S. Solheim Cup team since Paula Creamer in 2005, Michelle Wie used the strength of five top-10 finishes to earn enough points for Captain Beth Daniel to give her the nod as one of two captain’s picks. Wie competed in several match play competitions as an amateur and brings solid experience to the team. During her amateur career, she was the youngest USGA champion in an adult event when she won the 2003 USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at the age of 13. One year later, she was a member of the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team, posting a 2-2 record. She also nearly defended her USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship title, finishing runner-up to Yani Tseng. As one of the LPGA Tour’s top rookies this season, Wie has carded 65 percent of her rounds under par and averages 267 yards off the tee.