PORTLAND, Ore.(AP) Juli Inkster is the veteran on a young U.S. Solheim Cup team that will try to defend its championship next month in Sweden.
Captain Betsy King announced the 12-player squad Sunday after the Safeway Classic. Paula Creamer was the top points earner for a spot, and Nicole Castrale and Laura Diaz were captain’s picks.
Natalie Gulbis, Pat Hurst, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Prammanasudh, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford and Sherri Steinhauer also made the team.
Castrale, Lincicome, Prammanasudh and Pressel are new to the event. Inkster will be playing for the seventh time.
“We’re got a lot of rookies, but we’ve got a lot of rookies with a lot of heart,” Inkster said.
The Solheim Cup will be held Sept. 14-16 at Halmstad Golf Club in western Sweden. A team of 12 European-born players that includes Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and fellow Swede Sophie Gustafson competes against the U.S. team.
“There really is no greater experience than playing in the Solheim Cup. I know I was very fortunate to be on the first five teams, and it was truly the highlight of my career,” King said.
Diaz has played in three Solheim Cups. She finished 14th in the points standings for a spot, but her experience prompted King to pick her.
“I thought that was very important, particularly going over to Sweden, to have someone that had played over there before,” she said.
“As you all know it’s a little bit of a different time when you’re over in Europe playing. You’re not drawing a lot of people rooting for you. You have to be pretty self-motivated. And I took that into consideration with my picks,” she said.