American captain Juli Inkster went with experience and what she knows rather than rock the boat too much as she picked Paula Creamer and Brittany Lang to complete the American Solheim Cup side.
Some will think it a strange move given the Americans have lost the last two matches, with 2013 a record-breaking thumping. Others will see it as unthinkable that Creamer would be missing from any American team, Lang – their top scorer (W3 L1) two years ago – was the more obvious pick.
Creamer is pretty much the face of the American side, she made her debut in 2005 when she thrashed Laura Davies 7&5 in the singles, and her record stands at 12-6-5.
But she has missed her last three cuts and at Turnberry admitted that the problems were more mental than anything technical or physical. In Canada last week she had a second-round 81 to miss out.
But matchplay is a different beast and the thinking will be that Creamer can quickly steady the ship and, with the pressure of qualifying now over, she can get back to business.
The pair met in Canada at the weekend and Inkster liked what she saw, and heard.
“I just saw something in her eyes that I liked,” said Inkster. “She wasn’t, ‘Woe is me’; she wasn’t whining. She was taking full accountability. But on the other hand, she was like, ‘I don’t feel like I’m that far off.’ ”
Inkster added that there would be less hoopla and face paint and more golf.
“I mean, I like a little rah‑rah. It’s great, the teamsmanship, but I think sometimes it can go over the edge. I think we just need to play golf and maybe be a little more humble.”
For Creamer she revealed that she would be changing the way she prepared for tournaments. She would be going back to practising alongside the members at her home club Isleworth.
“Once today is over with, I feel like I’m ready to go and take care of my own business,” Creamer said. “I am right around the corner. I know it and I believe it.”
There was a thought that Michelle Wie might not play despite qualifying in fourth. The 2014 US Open champion has been struggling with ankle and hip injuries but did play in Canada and without any tape or braces. She did fail to make the weekend but she looks to have assured Inkster that she can be relied upon.
She will next play at Evian. Inkster can name an alternate for Wie but that name will remain a secret that hopefully won’t need revealing.
Alison Lee is the only rookie in the visitors’ side after nailing down her spot with a share of fifth place in Canada.
That was her fifth top 10 of 2015 and she will do what Charley Hull did last time in playing on Curtis and Solheim Cup teams in consecutive years. There Lee won three and halved one of her five matches.
“I like a little rah‑rah but I think sometimes it can go over the edge. I think we just need to play golf and maybe be a little more humble” – Juli Inkster Stacy Lewis
Appearances 2 W2 L5 H1
Appearances 1 W1 L2 H0
Appearances 7 W12 L14 H4
Appearances 3 W6 L5 H1
Appearances 4 W5 L7 H2
Appearances 4 W8 L5 H4
Appearances 5 W3 L11 H3
Appearances 1 W0 L2 H1
Appearances 1 W0 L1 H2
Appearances 5 W12 L6 H5
Appearances 2 W2 L3 H2