Captain Suzann Pettersen, who retired from golf after sinking the winning putt at the 2019 cup, and Georgia Hall, one of five top-20 players in Europe’s ranks, admitted their team were the overwhelming favourites when the event tees off at Finca Cortesin in Spain on Friday.
Rather than dampen any expectation over the hosts, Swede Pettersen, who was vice-captain to Catriona Matthew two years ago, said: “If you look on paper, we have the strongest team that I have ever been a part of and that’s based on great performances over the last few years from all the players.
“So, with good results, there’s also expectations but these girls are up for it so we can’t wait.”
That bullishness was echoed by Hall, who added: “This is the strongest team we’ve ever had on paper, for sure. There’s not one weak player on our team.
“I think you can put out any of us at any time and I think we’ll perform well. So, I think that makes it a little bit easier when picking players to go out and pairings for Suzann. We are very confident going into this.”
Hall is hopeful Pettersen will reunite her with Celine Boutier, Europe’s highest-ranked player at No5 in the world. The duo boasted a 100 per cent record in 2019 with three wins and then another half-point in their sole pairing two years ago.
While the US boast two of the world’s top three players in Lilia Vu and Nelly Korda, their captain Stacy Lewis was happy to add to the narrative of the visitors being the clear underdogs in the three-day event.
Lewis, who at 38 is the youngest captain in Solheim Cup history and is lined up to lead the US again in two years’ time immaterial of the result, said: “Europe is the favourite.
“They have won the last time, we’re on their soil, they have a great team that has a ton of experience in this event. So, you look at history and it doesn’t bode well for us but hopefully we’ll surprise a lot of people.”