Jones announces US Solheim Cup side

American captain picks Vicky Hurst and Ryann O'Toole for trip to Killeen Castle next month.

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 22 Aug 2011

Jones announces US Solheim Cup side

US Solheim Cup Captain Rosie Jones has revealed her 12-player squad to represent the stars and stripes in their quest to retain The Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle from September 23-25.

Jones, who has won 13 times on the LPGA and finished runner-up four times in the majors, announced the ten points qualifiers and her two captain’s picks shortly after Suzann Pettersen’s emphatic back-to-back victory at the Safeway Classic.

And it would appear the 51-year-old has opted for youth rather than experience as she named the two players who finished in a tie for fifth in Portland on Sunday - Vicky Hurst and LPGA rookie Ryann O’Toole; overlooking the likes of Katie Futcher, Kristy McPherson and veteran Pat Hurst.

“This has been an extremely exciting and difficult selection process,” said Jones. “I’ve been tracking these players for more than two years and tonight I feel we have built a fantastic team to represent the United States.

“Vicky and Ryann are two really solid players who will complement our team as we now focus on our strategy and performance next month at The Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.”

Hurst and O’Toole, ranked 37th and 38th on the LPGA money list, will join Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Juli Inkster and Christina Kim, as the red, white and blue look to make it four in a row.

“It feels so good to get picked and I’m ready for The Solheim Cup,” said the 21-year-old Hurst, who has yet to win on the LPGA but has won five times on the Futures Tour.

“I wasn’t standing over putts thinking about making the team but it was definitely on my mind. I wanted to win the Safeway Classic but I’m happy with my finish and I’m really proud of myself.”

O’Toole, with three wins on the Futures Tour, will also be competing in her first Solheim Cup event but admits the wildcard pick came as a pleasant surprise to her.

“Rosie took a chance on me and that means more than I can explain,” said the 24-year-old O’Toole, who participated on The Golf Channel’s Big Break Sandals Resorts and has played in just seven LPGA tournaments this season.

“It means just as much as winning a tournament. To have someone go against what people might think and go out on a limb with a rookie. She can see what I’m made of.

“When I played well at the US Women’s Open and finished ninth, I thought of some new goals. Rosie told me I was on the radar and it’s been on my mind since. I wanted to do whatever it took to get on this team.”

Elsewhere, 51-year-old Inkster will become the oldest player to participate in The Solheim Cup as well as the first-ever playing assistant captain.

“I will be a player first and an assistant captain second and Rosie understands that,” said Inkster. “I feel like most of my career I’ve worn two hats as a mum and as a player, but it will be a challenge.”

The European Solheim Cup Team, led by Captain Alison Nicholas, will be named on August 29. Melissa Reid, Laura Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Solheim rookie Christel Boeljon have already secured spots on the team through the LET points standings.

 

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