- The United States have won nine of the previous Solheim Cups to Europe’s five, but their success two years ago was their first since 2009 and it was extremely tight. Trailing 10-6 ahead of the final round of matches, the US turned it around in the singles to win 14.5-13.5 overall.
- Juli Inkster’s US team features four players in the world’s top 20, including No.2 Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis and 2017 PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang. Kang is one of three rookies in the team, but everyone else has made at least two previous appearances.
- Anna Nordqvist, ranked 13th in the world, is the only member of the Europe team in the top 20. Apart from Nordqvist and fellow veterans Karine Icher and Suzann Pettersen, the squad is lacking in experience, with four rookies and three 21-year-olds.
It is not hard to see why the USA are firm favourites with the bookies. They won the last Solheim Cup in Germany and will be cheered on by a partisan crowd at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, while they also have a more experienced team with more players towards the top of the rankings.
However, the odds on a US win are not very appealing and there is cause for European fans to be optimistic. They won on American soil back in 2013 and have several players in form, with Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Georgia Hall, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist all finishing in the top ten at the recent British Open. The US’ top player, Lexi Thompson, has also been struggling with a virus ahead of Friday’s big tee-off.
A price of 7/4 on Europe to come out on top may therefore be worth a punt, while there could be value in other markets such as the top European. Suzann Pettersen is the favourite but it could be a difficult few days for her as the spectators are unlikely to let her forget her failure to concede a tap-in putt from Alison Lee two years ago. Nordqvist, the highest-ranked player in Europe’s team and full of confidence following her good performance at the British Open, offers better odds and has a decent record from her previous four Solheim Cups.
Sports.net’s top tip:
Anna Nordqvist to be top European
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.