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Solheim Cup 2023: Anticipated Classic Showdown Between Europe and the US at Spain's Finca Cortesin

 


A fortnight of intense transatlantic battles for golf's most coveted team trophies begins with the potential for a heated Solheim Cup as Europe's women aim for a historic third consecutive victory.

Emotions may run high at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, where both Europe and the United States are led by strong and outspoken leaders, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis, respectively.

Lewis expressed anticipation about facing Pettersen, saying, "It's one of the things I look forward to the most about this Solheim Cup is going up against her. We both have personalities that suggest we won't easily yield, so hopefully, we won't encounter any rules disputes."

Pettersen became infamous for the "gimme-gate" incident during the 2015 Solheim Cup in Germany when she claimed a crucial hole after Alison Lee mistakenly thought her short putt had been conceded. Despite following the rules, Pettersen faced criticism for her perceived lack of sportsmanship, even being labeled a "disgrace to the sport" by Zach Johnson.

Although the incident nearly dampened her enthusiasm for golf, Pettersen made a triumphant return in 2019 when she secured the winning putt at Gleneagles, concluding her career in dramatic fashion.

Now, as the captain, Pettersen leads a strong European team, but she has taken a gamble by selecting Emily Kristine Pedersen and Caroline Hedwall, who have lower world rankings, based on their Solheim Cup grit rather than current form.

The European team boasts a solid core of players, all ranked in the world's top 40, but they face a challenge against an American team with a lower average world ranking.

This Solheim Cup features five rookies on the American side, including Lilia Vu, Allisen Corpuz, and Rose Zhang, who has shown promise with multiple major top-10 finishes.

However, Stacy Lewis expresses concern about Lexi Thompson's form, as she has struggled for most of the year.

To secure a historic third consecutive win, Europe relies on players like Celine Boutier, Charley Hull, Linn Grant, Maja Stark, and experienced veterans like Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall.

The Solheim Cup has a history of closely contested matches, with the last two decided by only three points and three of the last four ending with a margin of two points or less.

With both teams determined and passionate captains, this year's Solheim Cup promises to be a classic showdown.

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