Who will Juli Inkster pick for the U.S. Solheim Cup?

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Who will Juli Inkster pick for the U.S. Solheim Cup?

LPGA Tour

Who will Juli Inkster pick for the U.S. Solheim Cup?

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Juli Inkster isn’t sleeping well.

“It’s almost like I wish I had zero picks,” she said. “Two is going to be tough.”

The first three-time U.S. Solheim Cup captain is playing in this week’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, the final event before the points cutoff. It’s the 35th anniversary of Inkster’s victory in Canada as a rookie on the LPGA, and her sixth start this season.

“I’ve watched enough,” she said of scouting potential team members. “I don’t’ want to watch anymore.”

Five players have a chance to play their way onto the team through the Solheim Cup points list:

  • Brittany Altomare occupies the eighth spot with 257.5 points.
  • Ally McDonald has 250 points and needs a 17th or better finish to have a chance.
  • Cristie Kerr must win and have Altomare finish fifth or worse.
  • Angel Yin needs a victory to have shot as does Stacy Lewis.

And that’s not even considering the Rolex Rankings. The top eight players from the Solheim Cup points race automatically qualify along with the next two highest-ranked players off the Rolex Rankings.

  • No. 32 Angel Yin (currently in)
  • No. 40 Brittany Altomare (currently in off of points)
  • No. 41 Austin Ernst (currently in)
  • No. 42 Annie Park (breathing down their necks)
  • No. 49 Angela Stanford (needs her best of the year)
  • No. 50 Amy Olson (feels like she’s on the outside)

Inkster will announce her picks on Monday morning at a time that has yet to be determined. Her European counterpart, Catriona Matthew, had four picks to make and Inkster would like to see Team USA move in that direction.

“Two picks doesn’t really do much for me,” said Inkster. “If I had four picks if would be great. I do think we need one more pick in there.”

The American Ryder Cup captain has four picks. Padraig Harrington has reduced the number of captain’s picks for Europe in 2020 from four to three.

So far seven players have qualified for Inkster’s team: Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lizette Salas, Jessica Korda, Marina Alex and Megan Khang.

Three are rookies: Nelly Korda, Alex and Khang.

Jessica Korda and Kang, both veterans of one Cup, have never competed on foreign soil.

With so few players on the team with overseas Solheim experience, Inkster will likely lean toward those she knows well to make the trip to Gleneagles. Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Kerr and Lewis headline the veterans on that list.

An outside-the-box pick would be LPGA rookie Kristen Gillman, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champ who went 5-0 in the Curtis Cup. She’s currently No. 65 in the world.

Matthew stunned many when she picked Suzann Pettersen, who has competed only twice since the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in 2017. The new mom missed the cut at both the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (a team event) and Ladies Scottish Open. Matthew’s four picks gave her the chance to take a risk on the rusty but feisty Pettersen.

“I’m just kind of waiting to see someone really step up,” said Inkster. “I hate to come down to the last tournament, but it’s pretty much doming down to the last tournament.”

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