ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

So Who's Favored at the Solheim Cup?

The Solheim Cup begins tonight -- at least, it'll be night here in the US -- and so I thought I'd post a few of my own thoughts before things get underway.

European Solheim Team

As far as who will be the favorite this time, I'm not sure that's a simple question. I have trouble believing that any team trying for a three-peat isn't the favorite! But there are a number of factors at work this time and it just depends on how you look at them:
  • At last week's Evian, both teams had four players who failed to make the cut and each team has one prominent player struggling with her game -- Paula Creamer for the US and Caroline Hedwall for the Euros. The fact that Lexi Thompson and Alison Lee finished in the Top10 while a total of five Americans and only one Euro (Karine Icher) finished Top20 might seem to favor the US.
  • You always have to give an advantage to the "home team." Since the matches will be in Germany you have to give that one to the Euros.
  • There are heavy rains at the course and there's a possibility the first day will be rained out. How you interpret this depends on what you look at:
    • The rains will make an already long course play longer. Since the Americans have more power players, this would seem to favor the US.
    • But the Euro players are far more used to playing in messy conditions while dealing with rain gear and such. Chalk this one up for them.
  • There are no rookies on the Euro team so no one has to be "brought up to speed," as it were. This could favor the Euros.
  • Of course, there's only one rookie on the US team -- Alison Lee -- and she made the team while only having half the time to accrue points. Plus she's played on two successful Jr. Solheim Cup teams. She could have an invigorating effect on the team.
  • Then there's the culture difference. The Euro players grow up playing foursomes much more than their US counterparts, so that should favor the Euros.
  • The captains themselves are wild cards. Will the more reserved style of Euro captain Carin Koch or the super-relaxed style of US captain Juli Inkster be more effective? Likewise, Koch seems to be freewheeling with her pairings, saying that just about any of her players can play together, while Inkster has indicated that she's using a variation of the pod system adapted by successful Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger. Very different approaches!
  • And finally you have the pressure question. Who feels more pressure -- the Americans looking to break a string of losses or the Euros seeking a three-peat at home?
In the end I'm not sure there IS an answer. We'll just have to watch and see what happens.

The opening ceremonies are scheduled for GC today at 11am ET, while the first round of matches -- assuming they aren't rained out -- will be televised starting at 2am ET Friday morning. We're talking 10 hours of coverage on Friday if the rain doesn't mess things up! How cool is that?

1 comment:

  1. Just like Bryson DeChambeau, one of the hot Americans is ailing and will miss the first foursomes