By petedirenzo
Monday, August 10, 2009

Beth Daniel's captain's picks -- 49-year-old Juli Inkster and 19-year-old Michelle Wie -- will be crucial to the U.S.'s bid to retain the Solheim Cup next week. Inkster has had an uneven season, but she instantly becomes the team leader on a callow squad, with three rookies and an average age of 25.6 (excluding Inkster, who has a daughter Wie's age). Inkster's 14-8-5 record is one of the best in Solheim history, and she radiates the kind of intensity that a team can rally around. The U.S. is considered the favorite because of its depth, but the Europeans boast a handful of dangerous power players. Enter Wie, who leads the LPGA in birdies per round (4.08) and is fourth in driving distance (267.2 yards).

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