On a losing streak, Europe looks for change

LONDON (AP) — Europe made four changes to its criteria for making the Solheim Cup on Tuesday, trying to get its best players and end a losing streak to the Americans dating to 2003.

The Ladies European Tour will continue to take the top five players from its points list, the top four from the women's world ranking and three captain's picks. But it will award points to the top 20 players in the majors, up from the top 10. It also will award more points for events with the highest purses, and fewer points for regular LET events that don't often get the best players.

"Everyone says we have a difficult task, which we have," European captain Alison Nicholas said. "But I don't believe it's impossible to win in America, and I think these changes will help."

Europe has never won the Solheim Cup in the United States. The matches will be played in August 2009 outside Chicago.

Among the changes:

-Any LET event with a purse of at least 750,000 (US$1.1 million) will offer 1.5 times the regular distribution. Previously, the inflated rate was used at tournaments with prize money of 500,000 (US$737,000).

-In Solheim Cup years, non-majors on the LET will get 1.5 times the points distribution. Players used to get twice as many points, which favored those who play more often in Europe than the stronger LPGA Tour.

-Captain's picks no longer have to play in six LET events over a two-year period.

Beth Daniel is captain of the U.S. team, which takes the top 10 players from its points list and two wild-card selections.

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