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2017 Solheim Cup, into the final strait

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With less than one month to the Solheim Cup, the big match play confrontation which takes place every two years between Team USA and Team Europe, the pressure is on. The players are entering the final straight, endeavoring to play their best golf and hoping to be one of the "Happy 12" selected to defend their country's colors. The two team captains, Annika Sörenstam (Europe) and Juli Inkster (USA) have little time left to spot the talents on top form, fine tune their strategy and confirm their chosen players.

The 15th Solheim Cup on the US course at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club, Iowa, will be the first time the event has been held without the presence of Louise Solheim, who founded the tournament with her husband in 1990, and who died aged 99 on 8 July. The previous edition, held in Germany in 2015, saw an incredible win by the USA, the 9th time in 14 tournaments, thanks to a heroic attack in singles which tipped the score in their favor: 14 ½  points to 13 ½. Juli Inkster, with her mind set on repeating this performance, has chosen the same coaching staff: Pat Hurst, Wendy Ward and Nancy Lopez. Annika Sörenstam, who is still the Solheim Cup record points scorer, has named Scotland's Catriona Matthew, Spain's Marta Figueras-Dotti and Sweden's Maria McBride (Hjorth) to join her.

The players are all in agreement about the pressure this type of event brings, as Brittany Lang puts it "Solheim year it's always very stressful. I haven't played super great this year. I think I need to take my eye off that Solheim list and play some golf and be a little bit more relaxed."

The two teams are not selected in quite the same way. Team US is made up of the 8 top players on the Solheim Cup points list, the 2 top LPGA players on the Rolex Rankings and 2 players chosen by the team captain. In Europe, the top 4 players from the Solheim Cup rankings, the top 4 LET players from the Rolex Rankings and 4 captain's selections will make the journey to Iowa.

For the moment, Lexi Thompson and England's Georgia Hall, both top of the points lists, are sure to be selected. French player Karine Icher, whose position on the Rolex Rankings places her 4th, is also expected to compete for Team Europe.