European Solheim Cup Team ‘Without Doubt’ Strongest Ever - Laura Davies

The Solheim Cup legend is certain the current European team is the strongest there has ever been

Laura Davies talks to the press prior to the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin
Laura Davies is certain the current European Solheim Cup team is the strongest ever
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the European Solheim Cup team prepares to take on Team USA, there are several reasons for those involved to be confident.

One is Europe's recent record in the match, which has seen it win the last two, while another is home advantage at Finca Cortesin in Spain.

Perhaps most importantly, the European team appears strong throughout with the likes of recent Major winner Celine Boutier and World No.8 Charley Hull, promising rookies Linn Grant, Maja Stark and Gemma Dryburgh and the vastly experienced Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall among the 12 who will defend the trophy.

One senior figure who believes the Europeans are as strong as ever is vice-captain Laura Davis. She knows a thing or two about European teams having played in the match 12 times over 21 years, and the 59-year-old said: “I think without doubt, the strongest European Solheim Cup team we've ever had in-depth. From one to 12, there's not much in it.

“We've always had such strong teams, but it was always kind of the top seven, eight, nine, maybe, that played on the LPGA Tour. 

"We always had players from the European Tour that didn't have the experience, and when you come to the very hardest women's tournament in golf, the pressure - you know, you're not saying they weren't great golfers and they could stand up in any stroke play event, but it's really hard to play against a really strong American team when you don't really know what you're coming up against.

“So that's why I think this time, the 12 all play on the LPGA, they're all winners on the LPGA, and they bring that kind of experience to this team.”

Captain Suzann Pettesen agrees. She said: “I think we're all very ready to go. I don't think there's anything to hide under a chair that if you look on paper, we have the strongest team that I've 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 so up for it, so we can't wait.”

But what about the players? There's plenty of optimism within the team, too. Georgia Hall, who has played in three previous matches, said: “I think 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. So I think, yeah, we're very confident going into this.”

Georgia Hall during a practice round prior to the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin

Georgia Hall is confident the European Solheim Cup team is the strongest ever

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carlota Ciganda is another with plenty of Solheim Cup experience. As she prepares for her sixth appearance, this time in her homeland, she said: “On paper on the rankings we have I think the strongest team ever. I mean, the top players, we have I think eight main players in the top 15 in the world, so that's amazing.

“Obviously Charley five times second. In two Majors she finished second. Celine, she won Evian and Scotland. I think the youngsters are really good and we have, yeah, a great team. I mean, I've played six Solheim Cups and I think this is the strongest one we have.”

Of course, strength in depth on paper is one thing, making it count on the course is another. With the match almost upon us, we’ll soon know if the Europeans really are as formidable as they seem.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.