Mel Reid will hit the opening shot of the 2017 Solheim Cup and late call-up Catriona Matthew has been pitched straight into action on the opening morning as captains Annika Sorenstam and Julie Inkster unveiled their opening foursomes lineups last night.
Reid will partner Charley Hull in a match against the veteran Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson, the highest world ranked player in either team, in the top match at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
Matthew will partner Germany’s Karine Icher in the anchor match of the opening morning, against former Women’s British Open champion Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller.
It will be the 47-year-old Scot’s 34th game in the Solheim Cup, moving her into sole possession of third most appearances for Europe, behind her skipper Sorenstam and Dame Laura Davies. Matthew will also become the oldest European Solheim Cup player.
In the other two foursomes, Sorenstam has paired Carolta Ciganda and Caroline Masson to take on Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas, while Anna Nordqvist and England’s Georgia Hall will take on Austin Ernst and Paula Creamer, who was a late replacement for the USA after the withdrawl through injury of Jessica Korda.
It means Sorenstam is playing just one of her four debutants in Hall on the opening morning, while Inkster fields two of them in Ernst and Kang.
Both captains are fielding players who have been under the weather in recent weeks. The USA’s Thompson has been troubled with a jaw problem while Nordqvist, a key player for Europe, has played only limited practice due to glandular fever.
Morning Foursomes (Europe first)
8.10 am (2.10 pm BST) Mel Reid and Charley Hull vs Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
8.22 am (2.22 pm) Carolta Ciganda and Carlone Masson vs Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas.
8.36 am (2.36 pm) Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall vs Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst.
8.48 am (2.48 pm) Karine Icher and Catriona Matthew vs Stacey lewis and Gerina Piller.