History, format, teams and TV schedule for 2023 in Spain

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about the Solheim Cup:

This is the women’s version of the Ryder Cup, right?

Yes. It’s USA vs. Europe, with 12 players on each team. They compete over three days, in fourballs (better ball), foursomes (alternate stroke) and singles.

OKAY. Well, first, explain the formats.

Easy enough. We can take this right out of our Ryder Cup 101:

Better ball: I play my ball and you play yours. Whichever of us makes the lowest score on the hole is our team score for that hole. And if we draw, well, that’s our score. Alternate shot: You and I are a team. I turn off. You hit the next shot. I hit the next one and so on until we are in the hole. We switch to tee shots, where I lead on odd-numbered holes and you hit even-numbered holes first. In both formats we play match play so the total scoring is done by holes, not strokes. Matches last until one team does not have enough remaining holes to catch up.

If we beat our opponents, it doesn’t matter if we did it by winning one more hole than them (1 up), or shutting them out (10 and 8), it’s just one point for our team. Ties are worth half a point for each side.

Singles is just that, one on one.

Now, when do they play these formats?

The two teams will play four fourball and four foursomes matches on each of the first two days (Friday and Saturday). The captain of the home team decides the order. They will then play 12 singles matches on the day of the finals (Sunday). That’s a total of 28 points up for grabs. The winner must be at least 14 ½. The proviso is: If there is a tie 14-14, the trophy remains with the defending champion.

Which is?

Europe. It has won each of the last two editions, in 2019 and 2021. The United States leads the overall series 10-7.

So it started…

No need to worry. This biennial competition began in 1990. The United States won eight of the first 11 Cups, but Europe has since gone 4-2. It was originally contested in even years as the Ryder Cup was in odd numbers. However, after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Ryder Cup moved to even years (delaying the 2001 matches to ’02). The Solheim Cup adjusted, going back-to-back in ’02 and ’03, then holding odd-numbered years. When the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the 2020 Ryder Cup to ’21, the Solheim powers decided to move back to even years. So … after this year’s games, there will be another one in ’24, and continue from there.

What is a Solheim?

Who do you think is a Solheim? The pop is named after Karsten Solheim, who founded golf equipment manufacturer Ping and brought the concept of a Ryder Cup-style match for women to life.

And this only includes Americans and Europeans?

Correct. Players from other countries – regardless of CV and world ranking – are not eligible. There is no Presidents Cup-style competition between the USA and Internationals (non-European-born players). However, there is the LPGA’s International Crown, which features eight, four-woman teams from top qualifying countries around the globe.

Back to something: You said four fourball and foursomes matches every day. That’s eight players each session, not 12.

Correct, again. Four players from each team will sit each session. It is part of the captains duties to find out who is playing, who is playing with whom and who is cheering for their teammates. So, when it comes to singles, everyone has to play.

Who are the players competing this year and how did they get on their team?

Here’s a look at the American team. And here’s a look on the European team. Nine players qualified for the U.S. team, and captain Stacy Lewis had three additional picks to use at her discretion. The nine who qualified did so via an LPGA standings (seven players) and the world rankings (the top 2 Americans who did not otherwise qualify). European captain Suzann Pettersen had two players qualify via a Ladies European Tour points list and six based on the world rankings. She then had four choices.

Where are they playing this year? What are the dates?

This year’s games will be the first in Spain. Finca Cortesin i Málaga will host, 22-24 September.

Last question: How do I see?

Golf Channel will feature all three days of the competition and Peacock will simulcast. The TV program is:

  • Friday at 02.00-13.00

  • Saturday at 02.00-13.00

  • Sunday at 5-11

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