Solheim rookies excited to be here
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”U.S. Solheim Cup team member Kristy McPherson said they haven’t had a chance to see much of the area since they arrived earlier this week, but she’s not complaining.
â€œThey’ve been keeping us here, but it’s not a bad place to be,â€ she said.
McPherson was referring to the spacious grounds of Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove, where later this week the team will play the European women’s team.
â€œI really wanted to go to Lollapalooza, but oh well,â€ Michelle Wie said.
The Solheim Cup, a prestigious international team event in women’s golf, features the best women professionals from the United States against the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour (LET).
McPherson said the last time some of the team members came to practice at Rich Harvest Farms, they went to a Cubs game, but not this time.
â€œThey’ve been keeping us pretty busy,â€ she said.
When they are not practicing, McPherson said the team members have been spending their time horseback riding, fishing, visiting owner Jerry Rich’s car museum, biking around the property or engaging each other in putting contests and table games, such as ping pong.
The three rookies, Brittany Lang, McPherson and Michelle Wie, said they were excited to have the chance to play in this tournament with the other, more seasoned players for whom they have much respect.
â€œShe (Captain Beth Daniels) was always my idol,â€ McPherson said. â€œI always looked up to her, and when I found out she was going to be the captain, that just gave me more motivation to want to be on this team.â€
Growing up in South Carolina, McPherson said that she grew up watching Daniels play.
â€œIt’s a dream come true,â€ McPherson said. â€œThe coolest thing is just hanging out with 11 cool girls that are just good friends, and for one week every two years, we get to play with each other, pull for each other and have each other’s backs and play for our country together.â€
At 19, Wie is the youngest member of the U.S. team. She has set multiple records during her junior and amateur careers, beginning at age 10, when she became the youngest to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000.
Chosen as a captain’s pick, Wie said she was honored and thankful that Captain Beth Daniels picked her for the team.
â€œI’ll do my best not to let her down,â€ she said.
Photo: Fellow Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup team player Kristy McPherson (left) listens as Michelle Wie responds to a question during a press conference at the Solheim Cup event on Tuesday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Photo by Susan Oâ€™Neill