Automatic qualifying ends for Solheim as three more players make U.S. team

Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

Automatic qualifying ends for Solheim as three more players make U.S. team

Solheim Cup

Automatic qualifying ends for Solheim as three more players make U.S. team

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The race to clinch the final automatic qualifying spot on Juli Inkster’s Solheim Cup team couldn’t have finished any tighter. Projections indicated that Amy Olson needed to birdie the 72nd hole at the CP Women’s Open to edge Annie Park by the slimmest of margins.

Olson failed to convert and finished T-7 for the tournament, which made Park the fifth Solheim rookie to make Inkster’s team. Ultimately that last birdie putt might not have mattered for Olson as Nasa Hataoka birdied the last to move into a share of fifth with Carlota Ciganda. Olson needed to finish no worse than a two-way tie.

The two highest-ranked Americans in the Rolex Rankings not otherwise qualified after the Canadian stop made the cut.

Angel Yin, a captain’s pick in 2017, joined Park in qualifying off the rankings.

“Solheim is a big deal,” said Yin who tied for 10th. “Since rookie year I made it; I want to make it again, especially on points and not captain’s pick. It was in my mind but wasn’t really thinking about it. I just know that I have to play good golf. I haven’t been able to really perform this year, but I know how good my game is. I would say my game is the best it’s ever been. I just needed to trust.”

Brittany Altomare locked up the eighth and final spot on the Solheim Cup points list with a closing 68 and a share of 13th in Canada. Altomare has yet to miss a cut all year.

“Really relieved,” said the former Virginia Cavalier standout. “It’s like a weight has been lift off my shoulders.”

Ally McDonald closed with a 67 and finished ninth on the points list.

With five rookies taking up automatic qualifying spots on Inkster’s team – Marina Alex, Nelly Korda, Megan Khang, Park and Altomare – it will be interesting to see if she looks to veterans for her two captain’s picks to infuse more leadership onto the team. Inkster is scheduled to make the announcement Monday morning on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.”

Only two players on Inkster’s current team – Lexi Thompson and Lizette Salas – have experience playing overseas. The Solheim Cup will be staged Sept. 13-15 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Veterans on the outside who were looking to make one last good impression in Canada and missed the cut include: Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.

Yin was asked if she thought playing overseas for the first time would be much different.

“Yeah, for sure, because I played Junior Solheim in Germany,” said Yin. “Even just playing Junior Solheim it was ridiculous. There was a lot of chanting going on. I was like, where do these people come from? We’re playing Junior Solheim. Go away. (Laughter.) But I know, so it’s going to be 10 times, 100 times crazier than Junior Solheim.”

Inkster, Team USA’s first three-time captain, knows it all too well.

The U.S. team so far

Lexi Thompson

Nelly Korda

Danielle Kang

Lizette Salas

Jessica Korda

Marina Alex

Megan Khang

Brittany Altomare

Angel Yin

Annie Park

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