Solheim Cup 2023: Meet The 8 Rookies Lined Up For Finca Cortesin

The eight players who will make their Solheim Cup debuts at Finca Cortesin

Allisen Corpuz and Lilia Vu during a practice round before the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin
Allisen Corpuz and Lilia Vu are two of five rookies on Team USA
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A total of 24 players will compete in the Solheim Cup as 12 from Europe take on an equal number from the US at Finca Cortesin.

Each team has plenty of players with Solheim Cup experience, with Celine Boutier, Charley Hull and Anna Nordqvist among the senior stars on Suzann Pettersen’s Team Europe and players including Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson bringing substantial know-how to Stacy Lewis’s Team USA.

However, a third of the players competing in the match will do so for the first time. Team Europe has three rookies, while Team USA has five. But who are the players preparing for their maiden Solheim Cup appearances?

Maja Stark

Maja Stark at the CPKC Women's Open

Maja Stark finished top of the LET points standings

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Maja Stark is one of five Swedes in the Team Europe line-up. She qualified automatically, too, thanks to her place in the LET standings, where only Celine Boutier finished ahead of her.

The 23-year-old has only been a professional for two years, but she has made an immediate impact, with six LET wins and victory in the tri-sanctioned ISPS Handa World Invitational in 2022.

Stark also finished T2 in January’s Hilton Garden Vacation Tournament of Champions on the LPGA Tour, while she achieved her first top-10 in a Major with a T9 in the US Women’s Open.

Although 2023 marks her Solheim Cup debut, Stark played in the Junior Solheim Cup six years ago, where the US won by 14.5 points to 9.5 points.

Linn Grant

Linn Grant at the Portland Classic

Linn Grant's world ranking ensured she qualified automatically

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Linn Grant beat Stark to last year’s Race to the Costa Del Sol on the LET and the 24-year-old’s career appears to be on a similar trajectory to her compatriot.

Since turning pro in 2021, Grant has five LET wins while she also claimed her maiden LPGA Tour victory in July’s Dana Open.

Like Stark, she also has a top-10 finish in a Major to her name following a T8 at the 2022 Amundi Evian Championship.

Grant qualified courtesy of her world ranking of 19th at the time, and she is now up to World No.15. It would likely be higher, too, but for a limited LPGA Tour schedule because of her vaccination status following the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with restrictions lifted, Grant now appears more than capable of continuing her impressive ascent.

Gemma Dryburgh

Gemma Dryburgh at the Freed Group Women's Scottish Open

Gemma Dryburgh is one of Suzann Pettersen's wildcard picks

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Scot Gemma Dryburgh was one of Pettersen’s wildcard picks for the match, handing her a debut Solheim Cup appearance aged 30.

The highlight of Dryburgh’s professional career so far was surely her maiden LPGA Tour victory in the 2022 Toto Japan Classic, and even though she heads to Finca Cortesin on the back of two missed cuts in succession, overall, she has continued to enhance her reputation in 2023, including a T8 at the Amundi Evian Championship.

Allisen Corpuz

Allisen Corpuz takes a practice shot before the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin

Allisen Corpuz won the US Women's Open on the way to qualifying automatically

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Allisen Corpuz qualified automatically for Stacy Lewis’s Team USA after her maiden Major title in the US Women’s Open was followed by runner-up in the Dana Open.

That win at Pebble Beach was her first professional victory, and perhaps the biggest surprise was that it took her until the age of 25 to achieve it.

That’s because Corpuz was regarded as a prodigy as an amateur, and, in 2008, broke Michelle Wie’s record as the youngest qualifier in the US Women’s Amateur Public Links, aged 10 years, three months and nine days.

Corpuz also achieved top 10 finishes in two of the other 2023 Majors, and heads into the match as World No.10.

Lilia Vu

Lilia Vu in a practice round before the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin

Lilia Vu in enjoying a successful breakout year

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When Lilia Vu won her maiden LPGA Tour event in February’s LPGA Honda Thailand, surely even she couldn’t have imagined the kind of year she was about to have.

Two months later, she claimed her first Major title with the Chevron Championship, and she made that two Major wins in August with victory in the AIG Women’s Open, an achievement that also took her to the top of the world rankings. Not bad for a player who had begun the year as World No.43.

Because of those achievements, she qualified with ease, finishing top of the USA points list and looking forward to her maiden Solheim Cup appearance as her incredible breakout year continues.

Andrea Lee

Andrea Lee at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Ohio

Andrea Lee heads into the Solheim Cup in impressive form

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Andrea Lee was the last player to qualify for Lewis’s team via the USA points list. 

The 25-year-old had a tricky start to her professional career, but, following her maiden LPGA Tour win in the 2022 Portland Classic, she has begun to come into her own. 

Encouragingly for Lewis, she is also enjoying an excellent run of form that has seen her finish no worse than T13 in her last five tournaments heading into the match.

Lee was also on the winning team twice in the Junior Solheim Cup, in 2013 and 2015.

Rose Zhang

Rose Zhang at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Ohio

Rose Zhang qualified thanks to her world ranking despite only recently turning pro

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Along with Lexi Thompson, Rose Zhang qualified for the USA team thanks to her world ranking, which currently stands at 32 despite only announcing her decision to turn pro in May.

As well as possessing one of the smoothest swings in the game, the 20-year-old is known for her calm demeanour on the course. However, the slew of records she set in the amateur game and a win in her pro debut on the LPGA Tour, in the Mizuho Americas Open, suggests beneath that lies a steely determination to succeed.

Zhang also has plenty of experience as part of a team thanks to winning appearances in two editions of the Curtis Cup, two editions of the Junior Solheim Cup and one in the Junior Ryder Cup as an amateur.

Cheyenne Knight

Cheyenne Knight at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Ohio

Cheyenne Knight is one of Stacy Lewis's wildcard picks

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In July, Cheyenne Knight claimed her second LPGA Tour win in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational and that, along with three other top-10 finishes in 2023, helped persuade Lewis to make her one of her wildcard picks for the match.

Knight heads to Finca Cortesin after some patchier recent form, including three missed cuts in her last four starts, but generally, her career is on the up, as evidenced by a highest world ranking of 35 achieved earlier in the year.

Mike Hall
News Writer

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.