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|When||August 31 – September 6|
|Where||Inverness Club in Toledo, OH|
|The Course||71-part, 7,730 yards|
The Solheim Cup is a golf tournament for women professional golfers that resembles the men’s Ryder Cup.
The tournament is held every two years and features two teams of 12 golfers each from the United States and Europe.
Over the first two days of the event, there is a morning and afternoon session. During those sessions, four groups of two golfers from each team face off in either one of two styles of play.
The first type of game is known as foursomes or alternative shot. In this format, each member of a team alternates their shot on a hole.
In the foursome, two Americans will play two European golfers and each team will only play with one golf ball. The scoring for this format is match-play style with one point awarded for winning the hole.
The team with the most points at the end of the event is awarded one overall point for the team total unless there is a tie, then it is half-point to each team.
The other type of format that the golfers will participate in duos at the Solheim Cup is four-ball.
Also scored in match play style, four-ball is where all four players play their ball to conclusion and the player on each team with the lowest score is pitted against one another and the lowest score wins the point for the hole.
In the four-ball sessions, like the foursomes, the winning duo wins one point for their team. If the match ends in a draw, then again, each team is awarded a half-point.
On Sunday, each team’s captain takes their 12 golfers and pairs them into single matches. Match play scoring is once again involved and each winning golfer is awarded one point toward their team’s total and ties are awarded a half-point.
Over the three days, as matches conclude, point totals from each team begin to accumulate. The first team to 14.5 points wins the Solheim Cup.
If the two teams end in a 14-14 draw, then the previous winner is allowed to retain the cup.
The event began in 1990 and in the 15 total tournaments held for the cup, the United States has won 10 and lost five.
In 2015 and 2017, the Americans took home the Solheim Cup after Europe had won in 2011 and 2013.
In 2017, the US squad won 16.5-11.5 over the Europeans.
The 2021 Solheim Cup will follow the same format as the most recent editions. It will have 4 foursomes and 4 four-balls on day 1, and again on day 2 before the 12 singles to close out the competition.
The foursomes and four-balls will feature eight players from each team, while all participants will play in the 12 singles matches.
Team Europe won its first Solheim Cup title since 2013 in a thrilling battle.
Trailing by 2 points heading into the final stretch, the home team won three consecutive games to capture the title by a single point with a close 14.5 to 13.5 score.
It was Europe’s third win in the last five editions, making it the team’s most successful run in the tournament history. Team Europe had won three of the first 11 editions.
Team United States nominated the 1998 Dinah Shore champion Pat Hurst as its captain for the 2021 Solheim Cup. Hurst served as an assistant to Juli Inkster, who captained the team in the last three editions.
The American team has seven wins and only one loss on home soil, which offers a significant advantage.
The roster will be nominated at a later date closer to the competition. However, it’s safe to assume that some of the top players from 2019, including sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda, will return for 2021.
Holding the home ground advantage, Team United States enters the competition as the early favorites.
Catriona Matthew will once again serve as the captain for Europe after leading the team to the 2019 title.
Europe’s only win on US soil came in 2013, which also set the record for the widest margin of victory in Solheim Cup history with 8 points.
Celine Boutier capped off a career year in 2019 by leading Team Europe with a perfect 4-0 record at the end of the three-day event. Georgia Hall, the 2018 British Open champion, also ended the tournament with a 4-0 record.
Suzann Petersen, who sealed the title for Europe, retired shortly after the tournament and therefore won’t return for 2021.
Team Europe will be the underdog once again, especially as the visiting team. However, its recent retrospect against Team United States should be taken into consideration as well, making it a very close competition.
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