By John Huggan
The teams for the 15th edition of the Solheim Cup matches will both reflect fresh blood and a fresh start when the United States and Europe line up at the Des Moines Country Club, Aug. 18-20. The home side will sport three Cup rookies, with the Old World team debuting four new players in the biennial contest.

At a press conference following the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns, non-playing U.S. skipper Juli Inkster added two captain’s picks—18-year-old LPGA rookie Angel Yin and 25-year-old Austin Ernst—to her 10 automatic qualifiers (see below). Europe’s Annika Sorenstam also named her four wild-cards—Anna Nordqvist, Emily Pedersen, Caroline Masson and Madelene Sagstrom—to complete her side.

Both captains made it clear how difficult it had been to arrive at their respective conclusions. Inkster omitted the likes of former U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer, as well as six-time Cup veteran Angela Stanford and five-time player Morgan Pressel.

“This has been a really tough day,” said Inkster, herself a nine-time Solheim participant. “I don’t know if there’s ever been so many people in the running for two captain’s picks. I could have gone a lot of different ways. But in the end I went with my gut, and who I thought deserved a chance to play. I hope it turns out OK. That’s all I can say.”

Noticeably absent from the European squad will be Catriona Matthew, who was looking to make her ninth appearance in European colors. The Scot will still make the trip to Iowa, however, as one of Sorenstam’s assistant captains.

“It is always hard to say ‘no’ to someone who lives for the Solheim Cup,” said Sorenstam of Matthew. “She was involved in the plans and knew the players we were talking about and that made it a bit awkward at times. But she has been strong and mature, and I am happy to have her on the team either way.”

Points List
Lexi Thompson, 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 3-2-2 record
Stacy Lewis, 4th appearance (2011, ’13, ’15), 4-7-1
Gerina Piller, 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 3-2-2
Cristie Kerr, 9th appearance (2002, ’03, ’05, ’07, ’09, ’11, ’13, ’15), 15-14-5
Jessica Korda, 2nd appearance (2013), 1-2-1
Danielle Kang, 1st appearance
Michelle Wie, 5th appearance (2009, ’11, ’13, ’15), 7-7-1
Brittany Lang, 5th appearance (2009, ’11, ’13, ’15), 5-6-3
Rolex Ranking
Brittany Lincicome, 6th appearance (2007, ’09, ’11, ’13, ’15), 5-11-2 Lizette Salas, 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 1-3-2
Captain’s Picks
Austin Ernst, 1st appearance Angel Yin, 1st appearance

Points List
Georgia Hall (England), 1st appearance
Florentyna Parker (England), 1st appearance
Mel Reid (England), 3rd appearance (2011, ’15), 4-3-1
Jodi Ewart-Shadoff (England), 2nd appearance (2013), 2-1-0
Rolex Ranking
Carlota Ciganda (Spain), 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 4-1-2
Suzann Pettersen (Norway), 9th appearance (2002, ’03, ’05, ’07, ’09, ’11, ’13, ’15), 16-11-6
Charley Hull (England), 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 6-2-0
Karine Icher (France), 4th appearance (2002, ’13, ’15), 5-4-1
Captain’s Picks
Caroline Masson (Germany), 3rd appearance (2013, ’15), 2-3-2
Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), 5th appearance (2009, ’11, ’13, ’15), 8-7-1
Emily Pedersen (Denmark), 1st appearance
Madelene Sagstrom (Sweden), 1st appearance