Suzann Pettersen receives surprise European Solheim Cup wildcard

Catriona Matthew opts for experience by picking Suzann Pettersen as one of her four wildcard picks for Gleneagles.

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 12 Aug 2019
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Suzann Pettersen has received a shock wildcard in Catriona Matthew's European Solheim Cup side to face the United States at Gleneagles, Scotland, from 13 to 15 September. 

Pettersen, 38, has a wealth of experience having played in eight previous Solheim Cups, but has rapidly fallen down the world rankings to 620nd after taking time off since November 2017 to have a baby. 

Captain Matthew has also handed wildcard picks to English duo Bronte Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff and France's Celine Boutier.

The quartet join the automatic eight, who were England's Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, Spain's Azahara Munoz and Carlotta Ciganda, Germany's Caroline Masson, Swedish pair Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, and Holland's Anne van Dam.

 

 

Pettersen had initially been selected as a Vice-captain for this year's Solheim Cup - but that quickly changed just hours before deadline day.

Both Pettersen and Matthew played together in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational last month, a tournament that marked Pettersen’s first start in 20 months following the birth of her first child, Herman.

Although the pair failed to make the cut that week, Pettersen clearly did something to impress Matthew, and she is entirely grateful for that chance. 

"I'm delighted I got the thumbs up from Beany [Catriona Matthew] that she wanted me on the team," said Pettersen.

"It's a massive honour for me to be here and I can't wait, this is what I love. I feel like I was born for this.

"It's been a different role for me the past two years. My life has changed a lot, for the better, but I've missed golf and am very happy to be back in competition."

 

 

 

Pettersen sparked controversy four years ago at the Solheim Cup. 

Regarded by some critics as one of the biggest ever controversies to rock the sport, Pettersen enforced a 17th green penalty on rookie Alison Lee, who had wrongly picked up a short putt in the belief a concession had been granted.

Not only did Pettersen and Charley Hull go on to claim a point for Europe, but the Norwegian player exhibited no regret in the immediate aftermath of a 14.5-13.5 success for the USA.

The incident was widely recognised to have been the key motivating factor for Inkster and her players, who had trailed 10-6 with the singles left to play.

At the time, two-time major winner Zach Johnson branded Pettersen’s conduct “a disgrace to the sport”.

The United States will be bidding to win their third straight Solheim Cup this September, and their 11th win from 16.

Europe have won on both occasions that the event has been held in Scotland, at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000.

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