Annika Sorenstam opted keep the experience of her vice-captain Catriona Matthew in the team room and instead will take four rookies in her European Team to play the USA in the Solheim Cup next week.
The European captain named Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Masson, Emily Pedersen and Madelene Sangstrom as her four wildcard picks at the conclusion of the RICOH Women’s British Open.
Matthew, now 47, will be on the team but only as one of Sorenstam’s lieutenants, and it probably marks the end of the Scot’s distinguished Solheim Cup career, where she lost just ten of 33 matches in eight appearances.
Nordqvist, despite recent problems with glandular fever and Masson, who has played on the two Solheim Cups and has two top ten finishes in the last two weeks, were expected picks but Denmark’s Pedersen and Sangstrom of Sweden are both rookies for the team to play at Des Moines Country Club, Iowa in 10 day’s time.
Georgia Hall and Florentyna Parker are two other rookies who qualified outright, but Sorenstam has no doubts about her team.
“It’ll be tough to win in America but the time we did in Colorado four years ago there were six rookies on the team,” she said.
Matthew had been considered and some selection discussions with the Scots involved as a vice-captain had been “awkward”, she admitted.
“Catriona lives and breathes the Solheim Cup but she took the decision with the maturity and professionalism we know her for,” said the Swede.
Mel Reid, Carlota Ciganda, Suzann Pettersen, Charley Hull, Karine Icher and Jodi Ewart Shadoff are the other members of the team that qualified for selection.
US team captain Julie Inkster sprang a surprise by selecting 18-year-old rookie Angel Yin as one of her wildcards, and leaving out experienced players like Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
There is also an injury doubt about Jessica Korda, who is receiving treatment for an arm injury which caused her to withdraw at Kingsbarns this week.
Inkster’s other wildcard is also a rookie, Austin Ernst, as the veteran skipper took a clear move towards youth in her selections for the home fixture.