Meet the stars of the Solheim Cup

Meet the Solheim Cup stars: Europe’s hopes rest on a Brit who calls out social trolls and a Spaniard disqualified for slow play, while the USA boast Obama’s playing partner and an Olympic gold medallist with an ice hockey star boyfriend

  • The Solheim Cup is a biennial tournament that sees Europe take on the USA 
  • Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Spain hosts this year’s edition, which started on Friday
  • There are several talented players who are set to be on show from both teams 

The Solheim Cup returns this weekend as players from Europe and the USA face off at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Spain.

It promises to be an enthralling three days of action as another edition of the famous old rivalry is resumed, with Europe looking to make it a hat-trick of wins after successes in both 2019 and 2021.

The USA still have the edge overall, with 10 victories to Europe’s seven since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1990, with the event preceding the Ryder Cup – which gets underway the following weekend.

There will be a significant amount of talent on display, as five of the world’s top 10 players take part, while Europe captain Suzann Pettersen admitted the talent in her team was ‘almost scary’.

In light of the action getting underway, Mail Sport takes a look at four stars from each team to keep an eye on this weekend.  

The Solheim Cup returns on Friday, as Team Europe face Team USA in the 18th edition of the tournament (pictured – Europe captain Suzann Pettersen (R) and USA skipper Stacy Lewis (L))


Charley Hull

Hull has long-been tipped as a future star of the golfing world, with the 27-year-old playing in several amateur tournaments during her early teens.

She competed in the Curtis Cup – the amateur version of the Solheim Cup – when she was just 16, while she turned professional before her 17th birthday.

Hull is currently ranked No 8 in the world, with six professional wins and is set to compete in her sixth Solheim Cup despite her tender age.

She was in the news last week after calling out a sexist troll who claimed they would be a ‘top 20 player’ and ‘make every cut’ on the LGPA tour.

Responding to the troll on social media, Hull challenged the individual to a round as she said: ‘Shall we sort this game out. I’ll let him play off the red tees whilst I’ll play off the white.’ 

Hull is likely to be one of Europe’s key figures with the 27-year-old in fine form after five top ten finishes on the LGPA Tour this year, although she is yet to win a title. 

Charley Hull has long-been tipped to be a golfing star and is one of Europe’s leading players

Hull called out a sexist troll who claimed they would be a ‘top 20 player’ on the LGPA Tour

Carlota Ciganda

Ciganda is another vastly-experienced golfer in the European ranks this week as the Spaniard prepares for her sixth Solheim Cup, while she has also represented her country at the Olympics on two occasions.

Back in July, Ciganda was at the centre of controversy after she was hit with a two-shot penalty for slow play during the second round of the Amundi Evian Championship.

However, she refused to add the two shots to her final score which resulted in her being disqualified from the tournament.

Ciganda was fuming with her punishment and claimed she had been picked on as she posted a message on her Instagram story in response.

She said: ‘I got a few messages about the DQ from yesterday. I want to be very clear and the reason I did not sign a seven on the last hole is because I don’t think I took 52 seconds like the rules official said. I had a 10 footer on the last hole, last putt and the group behind they were not even on the tee on a par 5. 

‘Very poor performance from the LPGA rules official, they don’t understand what professional golf is about, they only look at their stopwatch like if 20 seconds is going to make a difference. I had family and friends watching and they all said it was impossible I took that long to hit that putt!’

Carlota Ciganda is another star of Team Europe but caused controversy earlier in the summer when she was disqualified from a tournament for refusing to accept a slow play penalty

Georgia Hall

Another Brit in Europe’s team, Hall automatically qualified by virtue of her world ranking of 17.

Hall shot to stardom after winning the British Open aged 22 and will be competing in her fourth successive Solheim Cup.

She has a strong record in the tournament, winning seven of her 13 matches and has regularly spoken about how the talents of female golfers are under-appreciated. 

Hall was born on April 12, 1996 – the Friday of Sir Nick Faldo’s famous Masters win in Augusta, Georgia – and it is perhaps apt that she is reportedly named after that triumph.

Hall also shot the course record at her local golf club in Bournemouth aged 11 and was awarded an MBE in 2019 due to her services to golf. 

Georgia Hall was awarded an MBE due to her services to golf and is ranked as world No 17

Celine Boutier 

Boutier is the highest-ranked European player in the world and is in the midst of the best form of her career.

The French star won her first major title at the Evian Championship in July, before following that up with a victory at the Scottish Open just a week later.

Boutier has an imperious record in the Solheim Cup of five wins and just one defeat and was particularly integral in Europe’s triumph in 2019 when she won all four of her matches.

The 29-year-old – who studied in the US – is hoping to add another success to her record this week but appreciated the test the course at Finca Cortesin will provide.

‘We’re just trying to prepare the best we can,’ Boutier said. I feel like everyone prepared us ahead of time, saying that it would be a very physical course… [but] it was very good to see the course. 

‘I think it’s very much about placement out here. A little bit long, longer than I would have wanted, but I think it’s going to be a good challenge and a very good match-play course.’

Celine Boutier has a stellar record in the Solheim Cup, winning five and losing just one match


Rose Zhang

Zhang made history in May 2022 when she became the first ever student athlete to sign a NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) deal with Adidas.

The highly-rated 20-year-old is still studying at Stamford University but has been tipped for huge things in the world of golf ahead of her first appearance at the Solheim Cup.

She set a record earlier this year for spending the longest time period ranked at No 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings of 141 weeks.

She only turned professional in May but won her debut tournament at the Mizuho Americas Open – becoming the first player to win on her professional debut on the LPGA Tour in more than 70 years.

Zhang was also named in TIME magazine’s 100NEXT, which recognises 100 rising stars from industries across the world.

Rose Zhang has been tipped for huge things in the world of golf despite being just 20

She also became the the first ever student athlete to sign a NIL deal with Adidas last year

Allisen Corpuz

Corpuz is one of three USA players inside the top 10 of the world rankings, but the 25-year-old has never appeared at a Solheim Cup.

She did win the US Open earlier this year, edging out Charley Hull in the process in what was her first major win.

Corpuz was born in Hawaii and her upbringing has seen her cross paths with former US President and fellow Hawaiian Barack Obama.

In fact, after her US Open win, the 44th president of the US said on social media: ‘Congratulations to fellow Hawaiian Allisen Corpuz for winning the U.S. Women’s Open! You make us all proud — and look forward to a round at Kapolei!’

The final line of that message was in relation to Obama inviting Corpuz to play a round of golf with him at a famous Hawaiian course.

When she was told of Obama’s tweet in her press conference, the US Open champion replied: ‘He has done a lot in his career. That is really special.’   

US Open champion Allisen Corpuz is one of three USA players ranked in the top 10 in the world

Former US President Barack Obama challenged her to a round after she won the US Open

Nelly Korda 

Korda is the second of the three US players who are in the world’s top 10 rankings, with the 25-year-old third.

She has 13 wins in her career, including the Women’s PGA Championship in 2021.

However, despite winning five of her eight games in the Solheim Cup, Korda has been part of two losing USA teams. 

Sport has followed Korda in her personal life, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion currently dating Canadian ice hockey player Andreas Athanasiou – who plays for Los Angeles Kings in the NHL.

USA’s Nelly Korda is currently dating Canadian ice hockey player Andreas Athanasiou

Korda’s family is full of sporting heritage, with her brother Sebastian Korda a pro tennis player

The pair have been together since 2019 and are regularly seen at each other’s sporting events. For example, Athanasiou was there for Korda’s victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic in June 2021 when the couple posed for photos with the trophy. 

Korda – a former world No 1 – is also part of a family of sporting heritage, with her father, Peter Korda and mother, Regina Rajchrtova, both former professional tennis players, while her brother Sebastian Korda is currently ranked 33rd in the world.

Lilia Vu

Vu will be the highest-ranked player to compete in the Solheim Cup, with the American second in the world and only behind Chinese world No 1 Yin Ruoning.

The 25-year-old has won two majors this year – the Chevron Championship and the British Open – and has risen markedly from 2021 when she was world No 244.

Lilia Vu almost quit golf a few years ago, but she has now surged to No 2 in the world rankings

In fact, Vu almost quit the sport a few years ago after she made just one cut on the LPGA Tour in 2019 and pocketed only $3,380 (£2,733) in prize money.

Reflecting on those low moments in her career, Vu – who had fallen out of love with the game – said: ‘I was just in such a bad place.

‘Everything was life or death. I just saw everybody that I’ve competed with being successful, and I just compared myself all the time.’

She is now set to be one of Europe’s biggest dangers this weekend as the USA attempt to regain the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2017. 

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