2009 Solheim Cup
August 4, 2009 -- The Solheim Cup is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The U.S. Team leads the competition, 7-3, and has never lost The Solheim Cup on home soil. In 2009, the Americans will be looking to keep their untarnished home record intact at Rich Harvest Farms.
Dates: Aug. 21-23, 2009
Site: Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
Format: Three-day, match-play competition. The first two days of competition feature two sessions each day, with a total of eight foursomes and eight four-ball matches over the two days. The final day consists of 12 singles matches.
The foursomes format features two-member teams, with players hitting alternate shots using the same ball. At the end of the hole, one score is recorded for the team. In contrast, a four-ball match has each player playing her own ball throughout the entire match. At the end of each hole, the best score of the two teammates is recorded; only one score from each team is recorded for each hole.
For the singles competition, one U.S. and one European player compete against one another. Each plays her own ball throughout the round and records her own score.
Scoring: Scoring is based on a points system, with 28 total points available over the three days of competition. One point is awarded for each match won, and half a point is given to each team for matches that end in a tie. The defending champion needs 14 points to retain the Cup, while the other team would require 14-1/2 points to win the event.
Television coverage: The Golf Channel will broadcast coverage in the United States. The Golf Channel covered portions of The Solheim Cup in 2000 and 2002 and televised every shot in 2003, 2005 and 2007. BSkyB will broadcast the event in Europe.
Team selection: U.S. Team
For the 12-person squad, 10 players qualify for the U.S. Team by earning points for wins and top-20 finishes over a two-year qualifying period, with two players selected by the captain. U.S. players began earning points toward the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team at the 2007 LPGA State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill.
The European Team is selected by taking the top five players from the LET points standings, followed by the next top four European LET members appearing on the Rolex Rankings at an agreed cut-off date, plus three Captain's Selections. Players began accumulating points toward the 2009 European Solheim Cup Team at the 2007 De Vere Ladies Scottish Open.
Team captains: Beth Daniel, an eight-time Solheim Cup player and LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famer, will captain the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins will serve as her assistant captains. Alison Nicholas, a six-time European Solheim Cup Team member and two-time assistant captain, will captain the 2009 European Solheim Cup Team. Liselotte Neumann and Joanne Morley will serve as her assistant captains. 2
Course: Rich Harvest Farms was built in 1989 by architect and sole owner Jerry Rich and has already received numerous accolades. In 1999, it was named the fifth-best new private course in the United States by Golf Digest and in 2003 made its debut on Golf Digest's Top 100 American Golf Courses.
Rich Harvest Farms represents a true links-style setup with players heading out for nine holes and then back in for the remaining nine. The par-72 design can be played from 6,334 to 7,600 yards. Rich's influence can be found in many areas around the facility, including the naming of each hole which reflects his inspiration for the course. The facility also includes two complete driving ranges as well as additional practice areas.
The Cup: 17-5/8-inch Waterford Crystal cup with a 2-1/2-inch mahogany base
History: The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for The Solheim Cup, professional golf's international match-play competition for women. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women's professional golf team event. The Solheim Cup is the most highly coveted trophy in women's professional golf team competition; some of the most memorable moments in women's golf have happened during one of The Solheim Cups, and berths on the U.S. and European teams are highly sought after by players from both organizations.
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