Who will be paired up in Spain? — Best moments from Cincinnati — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Sept. 14, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday! We’re just four days away from the beginning of Solheim Cup week, and eight days aways from the players teeing it up in front of a fiery Spanish crowd…and I can’t wait. And with the cup on the horizon, it begs the question — who’s going head-to-head in match-ups next week? It’s been two weeks since captain Stacy Lewis finalized her squad for Spain and in that time I’ve been thinking about potential pairings I’d like to see for Team USA at Finca Cortesín — so let’s get into it.
The LPGA Drive On series has released a new episode that shows us peeks into Lewis’ team building decisions along with exclusive access of what went down inside the ropes at the Canadian Open. Click here to watch episode 8.
The timing of this episode couldn’t have been more perfect, watching the meticulous efforts of Lewis and the people around her has added some incredible insight to my thoughts on who should be patterned up next week. The Americans face an uphill battle. They’re potentially on the brink of losing three consecutive cups, on European soil at that, therefore match ups are imperative to the success of this team. And let’s be clear, in 2021, Team Europe played lights out golf but Team USA also lost that cup. There was hardly any momentum for the red, white, and blue over the course of the three days in Ohio. And if they want a shot at applying pressure, the chemistry among players and for the team as a whole needs to be in peak condition.
But there’s quite a few advantages Team USA has that I think could shake the table. For starters, the American’s have a much younger squad. The oldest players are Danielle Kang and Ally Ewing at age 30 and both are Solheim vets — they have the experience (in addition to Lexi Thompson). There are 5 players making their Solheim Cup debuts, and among those 5, two of which have one majors this season. Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz quite literally swung themselves into this cup with their wins and prove that they can compete at the highest level and come out on top.
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The youthfulness of this team also brings on a new fire, and a blank slate for Lewis and her assistant captains — the rookies don’t have the memories of losing, they are coming in with a 0-0 record. Not to mention that Lewis herself, is the youngest Solheim Cup captain for Team USA, so playing into the underdog scenario could definitely work in favor of the Americans.
But something tells me that Stacy Lewis has already mulled most of this over — she’s extremely calculated and analytical — and I have no doubt that she will have a game plan for her squad. It was also nice to see her, Lilia Vu, and Nelly Korda take on Midtown Manhattan earlier this week…which I may or may not have taken as a hint towards these two being paired up at Finca Cortesín.
We got a glimpse of the Korda/Vu duo at the International Crown earlier this year, where they won 2/3 matches and halved another. Being the highest-ranked players, they were expected to dominate, and that didn’t happen outright, but they eventually found their groove and I believe that this is a pairing we’ll see at least once next week.
The veterans — Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, and Ally Ewing — will be floaters. I think Lewis will move them around a lot and pair them up with any of the rookies. Veteran players usually take up the mantel of being team leaders and I see this happening for these three.
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There are two rookie pairings that I think are fairly realistic for Stacy Lewis to throw into the mix. One of which being Andrea Lee and Rose Zhang. Seeing these two Stanford standouts would be must-watch TV. Having that collegiate connection gives them something to connect with, having played under the same coach and having such great success on their respective teams, leads me to believe that this pairing at the very least will have a ton of fun. Allisen Corpuz and Cheyenne Knight are a rookie pair I think will have match-play success. They are very stable, consistent players and I think their games align fairly well. Corpuz has the driving accuracy that Knight is a bit weaker in, but Knight has better putting statistics than Corpuz. Where one player lacks, the other shines, and based on the law of attraction these opposites should go together quite nicely.
The trio of Megan Khang, Jennifer Kupcho, and Angel Yin I foresee as being another set of floaters. Each of them have some Solheim Cup experience, not enough to call them veterans, but enough so know what’s in store and to have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Khang and Yin are the more spirited players which will be much needed for the team. They are the middle ground of the seasoned vets, and the bright-eyed and bushy tailed rookies.
This week in women’s golf
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Five at The IX: Best moments/shots from the Kroger Queen City Championship
Last week wrapped up the final tour event before the Solheim Cup, and there were plenty of incredible moments to hold us over. Here’s a mini round-up of some of the best moments and shots from Queen City!
An ace and a near ace (on the same hole)!
The new world No.1 shows off her approach game
The club twirl is almost better than the drive
This long par save by Minjee on the 18th green to send her and Charley Hull to a playoff
Yeah, she can drive the green on par 4s, but the flatstick was on fire for Charley Hull
|By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer|
|By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer|
|By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next|
|By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX|
|By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden|
|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer|