Some of the biggest moments in Golfing history have come from group events. The chance to play golf as a group rather than as an individual doesn’t come often, but when it does the results are often spectacular. This year spectators will hope for the same as the Solhiem Cup kicks off in Germany tomorrow. For those who are not aware, the Solhiem cup is a women’s Golf event where European players face those from the USA. It is the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup with the matches being a mixture of pairs and singles events. In recent history Europe have dominated the tournament completely. They have won now twice in succession, but are there signs of this changing?
Well the bookmakers certainly think so. Despite being away from home and with poor form in the competition, the Americans are definitely favourites to lift the cup and priced around 8/13. So why is there such a wave of support towards the American team? Well that comes down to the quality of players they have at their disposal. Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis for example are right at the top of their profession ranking worldwide in 3rd and 4th place respectively. Being high in the world rankings, reflects how excellent the Americans form currently is. In the top 25 players in the world there are 6 players from the USA, in comparison there are only 2 from Europe. This will definitely give the USA confidence as well as the form of Lexi Thompson, who narrowly missed out on winning the Evian major championship to Lydia Ko.
One thing that is for certain is that the Americans will be hungrier for the victory in Germany. This is not because the Europeans do not want the title, in fact the reality is quite the opposite. It is because they have been starved from victory in the tournament for the last two occasions. No matter how fired up the Europeans get it is unlikely that they will match the burning desire that losing creates. Don’t write off the Europeans just yet though. They have an extremely experienced squad with no rookies in the squad at all. As well as this only one of the players didn’t feature in the previous two victories so this will be an extremely tight knitted squad. Star players also flood the squad with Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen for example who have a wealth of understanding and familiarity, which they will pass down to the younger players in the squad. These players including Charley Hull and Caroline Masson will go at the competition with youthful freedom but without as many nerves on the course.
There are also a couple of very unexpected factors which could effect the outcome of this week. The weather is undoubtedly on of these. Rainfall has meant some of the course has been likened to a ‘swamp’ and could unfortunately ruin the spectacle somewhat. The rain is due to clear up over the weekend, but damp conditions will certainly make it a challenge for the ground staff and the players alike. As well as this, there is question marks over the American rookie Alison Lee. She has been suffering with food poisoning and was even rumored to be potentially out of the tournament. However, she attended the opening ceremony and will feature this week, just hopefully her golf will not suffer as a result.
So what do I think will be the outcome of the tournament? Well it is certainly going to be closer than the last few years, where there have been large margins of victory for the Europeans. Despite this I am backing Europe to win their third title in a row. They may not have the form of Lewis and Thompson, but the passion brought by the likes of Hull and Hedwall mean that form books fly out of the window. With a massive home crowd bias also and with no rookies in the side the team should be settled, comfortable and extremely well supported in this year’s Solhiem cup. Is it going to be easy? Far from it, but the winning mentality Europe hold I feel might give them an edge, especially in the latter stages of the tournament.
So what do you think will happen in the Solhiem Cup? Will the Americans fight back? Let me know in the comment section below and thank you for reading!