Suzann Pettersen is looking forward to leading Europe’s defence of the Solheim Cup next year, as she feels they have never looked stronger.
Europe produced a brilliant result to claim a 15-13 victory at Inverness Club in Ohio, with Catriona Matthew’s charges defying the odds to defend the title they claimed at Gleneagles in 2019.
United States captain Stacy Lewis will have a strong crop of players to call on, including world No. 1 Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson.
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But women’s golf in Europe is in excellent shape, with Leona Maguire on the brink of the top 10 and Charley Hull returning to the winner’s circle in 2022.
The rankings suggest Europe will be a match for the United States at Finca Cortesin in Spain, and Pettersen is relishing the challenge.
“If you look at the world rankings we have seven Europeans in the top 30,” Pettersen said. “Carlota (Ciganda) is No. 50 and she is like the 10th European on that (current qualifying) list, so world-ranking wise we have never been stronger.
“It is a solid team throughout as it stands now.”
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The likes of Maja Stark and Linn Grant have taken the European stage by storm with seven wins between them in 2022.
The two Swedes are likely to feature in Pettersen’s plans, and the Norwegian captain feels winning is of huge importance for confidence.
“What I really like is a lot of these players have been out there winning, and winning gives a lot of confidence,” Pettersen said. “That is going to be valuable coming in.
“It will be interesting to see how it develops. It does not feel like it is 42 weeks (until the Solheim Cup), it feels shorter.
“Ranking-wise this is the strongest we have ever looked.”
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Pettersen is casting her eye over the likes of Grant, Stark, Maguire and Ciganda at the season-ending Andalusia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana this week.
With a likely core group of players in Spain, Pettersen will round them up and take them to Finca Cortesin for a get-together.
“I thought I might use the opportunity while a lot of the players are in the area,” Pettersen said. “We don’t get too many get-togethers throughout the year - I am not going to get players to travel across the globe - so I am making the most of it.
“Linn, Maja and Carlota are three of them. I have invited other potential players, some are obvious.
“I am hoping it can create a bit of a buzz and inspiration for going into the off-season and wanting them to make the team. I think that is important as well.
“There’s the Solheim in 2023, but there is a quick turnaround in 2024 so it is for the near future as well.”
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