Solheim Cup on the agenda at Woburn

All eyes will be on Woburn this week as a star-studded field descends on the Marquess’ course for a chance at Major Championship glory at the AIG Women’s British Open.

Every player from the current top 30 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings barring Jiyai Shin is in the field at the Bedfordshire venue.

But while the focus will be on the contest for the final Major of the year, there will also be an intriguing sub-plot away from the main event in the form of Solheim Cup qualification.

Players with ambitions of competing for Team Europe and Team USA at Gleneagles next month have a chance to put their case forward with a strong finish at the AIG Women's British Open.

And with the 16th edition of the transatlantic battle between America and Europe fast approaching, here’s a look at the Solheim Cup hopefuls who will be teeing it up at Woburn.

HALL LEADS EURO CONTENDERS

England’s Georgia Hall will have plenty of fond memories this week as she looks to defend the title she won in spectacular style at Royal Lytham and St Annes last year.

The 23-year-old’s first Major title arrived courtesy of a two-shot victory over Pornanong Phatlum, having trailed the Thai golfer by one shot overnight before shooting a final round 67.

Hall is already in prime position to make her second Solheim Cup appearance based on her world ranking, but she could virtually rubber stamp her spot with another good finish.

Her victory at last year’s Women's British Open was the first by a Brit since Catriona Matthew’s success in 2009 at the same venue and Team Europe’s captain is also among the field in Woburn.

Matthew will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of her only Major win as she keeps watch over the European stars in the penultimate qualifying event before the team is announced.

Charley Hull is one of those potential home-team hopefuls who Matthew will be studying closely, with the three-time Solheim Cup player closing in on a place at Gleneagles.

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall has yet to break her Major duck but she will also be teeing it up at Woburn with hopes of ending that drought and securing her fourth Solheim Cup appearance.

Elsewhere, Bronte Law, Caroline Masson, Anna Nordqvist, Melissa Reid, Azahara Munoz and Meghan MacLaren are also among those bidding for a place on Team Europe at Gleneagles.

THOMPSON HEADLINES FOR USA

Three-time Solheim Cup star Lexi Thompson will be among those flying the flag for the USA at the AIG Women's British Open after skipping the Major last year to recharge her batteries.

The 24-year-old from Florida missed the cut at the recent Evian Championship, but she has a formidable record at the British Open with three top 20s in her last three appearances.

Thompson’s best finish in the event also came the last time it was held at Woburn, coming in a tie for eighth in 2016, which would suggest she is definitely one to watch this week.

Danielle Kang, who made a winning debut for Team USA in 2017, is another of the American stars making the trip to Milton Keynes along with the Korda sisters, Nelly and Jessica, and Lizette Salas – all of whom have secured a spot along with Thompson on Juli Inkster’s Team USA with impressive points tallies.

They will be joined in the field by USA veteran Cristie Kerr, who will be continuing her late push for a place on Inkster’s team as she bids for her 10th Solheim Cup appearance.

“I’ve got to show Juli Inkster something in these next three weeks to even be considered as a pick,” said Kerr in a recent interview. “She has to take the best team over there.”

Megan Khang is another player with the Solheim Cup at the forefront of her mind, with Marina Alex and Brittany Altomare also fighting to earn their place on the team for Gleneagles.

Meanwhile, Paula Creamer may have seven Solheim cup appearances to her name but she still needs to convince Inkster she is worth one of her captain’s picks at the AIG Women's British Open.
 

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