SUGAR GROVE – Team Europe enters the Solheim Cup in a 3-7 all-time hole since the event began in 1990, including two straight losses.
If the Americans’ youth doesn’t stand in the way of a three-peat – seven players have been part of one Cup or less – than perhaps Janice Moodie will.
Beware the Scot’s subtle ploys to build a mental edge, Team USA.
“I have warned them about that already, and I’ll continue to warn them,” U.S. captain Beth Daniel said. “Because match play is a whole different animal.”
Stopping short of jingling her pockets or yelling, “NOONAN!” Moodie nonetheless is known to pump her fist or talk trash in hushed tones on the course. It isn’t flamboyant, but it’s something to watch out for.
“This is not like your normal subdued golf clap tournament,” Daniel said.
For now, the U.S. can only hope Moodie’s Solheim history rewrites itself. A wild-card pick of captain Alison Nicholas this year, Moodie was part of the past two winning European teams, in 2000 and 2003.
Respect your elders: Natalie Gulbis brings a curious case into the tournament.
She’s only 26, but with two Cups under her belt she ranks with Paula Creamer and Angela Stanford as the third-most experienced Americans behind Juli Inkster (seven Cups) and Cristie Kerr (four).
Gulbis prefers to identify with the younger crowd, the one that tuned in to see the Solheim earlier this decade.
“I had watched all those moments on TV, so to be able to hear what was really happening and just being around these players, picking their brains ... is fun,” Gulbis said.
Tap-ins: Fans from 49 states and nine countries have purchased tickets, Cup director Kelly Hyne said. Alaska is the only state not represented. ... Speaking with her own cell phone resting behind her on a golf cart, Daniel smiled about the electronic ban she enacted on players during the tournament. They are prohibited from talking or texting while on the course and during dinner or team meetings. ... Team Europe, which was not present Monday, boasts the only player to compete in all 10 Solheim Cups, England’s Laura Davies.