Solheim Cup: Lexi Thompson battling virus, Team Europe names alternate pick

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Solheim Cup: Lexi Thompson battling virus, Team Europe names alternate pick

LPGA Tour

Solheim Cup: Lexi Thompson battling virus, Team Europe names alternate pick

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Suzann Pettersen took it easy on Tuesday at the Solheim Cup, only putting at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Assistant captain Catriona Matthew, meanwhile, played a practice round. European captain Annika Sorenstam confirmed Matthew as the team’s alternate and said Pettersen is resting for precautionary measures after a back injury flared up. Captains have until Thursday before pairings are announced to make substitutions to the 12-player roster. 

Meanwhile on the American side, Lexi Thompson is battling a virus. The top American was on the course but kept practice to a minimum. Captain Juli Inkster said Thompson has dealt with a sore throat the past three days.

“I’m a little worried about her,” said Inkster. “Everybody else seems to be in good shape.”

Thompson skipped her afternoon press conferences to rest but released the following statement: “Unfortunately, I have been battling an illness for the past few days and am having difficulty sleeping. I have been advised to focus on getting some rest in order to make a full recovery. I’m looking forward to getting healthy and having an amazing Solheim week. Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Paula Creamer was the original alternate for Team USA and filled the spot for an injured Jessica Korda. Inkster put another name in the envelope, but the identity of that player has not been made known.

Matthew, a veteran of eight Solheim Cups, has competed on every European team since 2003.

“To be honest, she was close to even getting on the team, so if worse comes to worse, and last resort that Beany has to step in, that’s not a problem for us,” said Englishwoman Mel Reid. “She’s one of our experienced players and she’s a great player and she’s an integral part of the team already. So if she needed to step in, I don’t think any player would have any problem with that.”

Anna Nordqvist said that on a scale of 1 to 10, she’s about a six or a seven when it comes health. The Swede fell ill with mononucleosis and spent two weeks in bed prior to the Women’s British Open. 

Nordqvist hasn’t been able to practice or work out as she normally would and hopes that as the week progresses, she might have the stamina to play two sessions in one day.

“We’ll have to stay patient,” she said, “just not pushing it too hard, too quick and walking up some hills you have to take a few extra breaths because I was a little more tired than normal.”

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