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Solheim Cup: Gemma Dryburgh among Suzann Pettersen’s four captain’s picks for Team Europe

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Gemma Dryburgh, Caroline Hedwall, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Madelene Sagstrom handed Solheim Cup captain’s picks by Suzann Pettersen; Team Europe chase third consecutive victory over Team USA from September 22-24, live on Sky Sports

By Ali Stafford

Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh will make her Solheim Cup debut for Team Europe next month after being named as one of Suzann Pettersen’s four captain’s picks.

The eight automatic qualifiers were confirmed after the ISPS Handa World Invitational, with Celine Boutier and Maja Stark earning spots from the LET Solheim Cup points to join Carlota Ciganda, Linn Grant, Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Leona Maguire and Anna Nordqvist in via their world ranking.

Pettersen then confirmed her wildcard selections in a special live programme at Sky on Tuesday afternoon, where Dryburgh, Caroline Hedwall, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Madelene Sagstrom were named to complete Europe’s strong line-up.

Team Europe will be chasing a record third consecutive Solheim Cup victory this September, exclusively live from Finca Cortesin in Spain, live on Sky Sports

Dryburgh will be one of three rookies in Pettersen’s team at Finca Cortesin from September 22-24, live on Sky Sports, where Europe will be chasing a third consecutive victory over Team USA for the first time in the tournament’s history.

The world No 48 secured her maiden LPGA Tour title last November at the Toto Japan Classic and has enjoyed another steady season, registering her best-ever major finish by taking eighth at the Evian Championship last month.

“I’m over the moon to be picked for my first Solheim Cup,” Dryburgh said. “It has been a dream of mine to play on the European team since I can remember and for it to become a reality is an amazing feeling. It really makes all of the hard work over the years worthwhile and now I just can’t wait to tee it up with the rest of my team-mates.”

Team Europe Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen told the Sky Sports Golf Podcast that the best aspect of the tournament is how the players raise their standards and create unbelievable moments.

Sagstrom will make her third Solheim Cup appearance and third on European soil, having featured in the 15-13 success in Ohio last time around, while compatriot Hedwall features for a fifth time having missed out on playing in the 2021 victory.

Hedwall won the Ladies European Tour’s season-ending Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de Espana last November, her seventh LET title, with the 34-year-old – one of five Swede’s in the Solheim Cup side – relishing the chance to attempt more success on Spanish soil.

“I’m just really excited to play another Solheim Cup,” Hedwall said. “It’s my absolute favourite event to play, so I can’t wait for the week to start! Having great memories from the end of last year in Andalucía, I hadn’t thought much about Solheim until I won and after that, it was a goal for the season. I’m just really happy it became a reality!”

Speaking on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast, Suzann Pettersen joked that her biggest job during the Solheim Cup will be to keep Carlota Ciganda in check in front of a home crowd in Spain.

Pedersen will also be teeing it up in her third Solheim Cup, after she made her debut in 2017 and rolled in the putt that sealed victory on American soil in 2021.

“I’m super proud to get picked,” said the 2020 Race to Costa del Sol champion. “I’m stoked because Suzann is someone that I’ve always looked up to. I haven’t yet played a Solheim Cup in Europe and I really wanted to play this. Spain has a really special place in my heart, I love Spain and I’m super happy to be able to represent Europe once again.”

Team Europe’s 2023 Solheim Cup squad

Qualified via LET Solheim Cup points list: Celine Boutier (Fra), Maja Stark (Swe)

Qualified via Rolex Women’s World Rankings: Carlota Ciganda (Esp), Linn Grant (Swe), Georgia Hall (Eng), Charley Hull (Eng), Leona Maguire (Irl), Anna Nordqvist (Swe)

Captain’s picks: Gemma Drybrugh (Sco), Caroline Hedwall (Swe), Emily Kristine Pedersen (Den), Madelene Sagstrom (Swe)

Pettersen excited by Solheim squad

Team USA’s qualification campaign runs until the CPKC Women’s Open in Canada on Sunday, when the top seven players in the Solheim Cup standings – along with the next two not already eligible in the world rankings – will be guaranteed a place. Stacy Lewis will then name three captain’s picks on Monday August 29.

Lewis will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat for Team USA and claim a first victory since 2017, while Pettersen is pleased with the strength she has available in her European line-up.

Team Europe will be chasing a record third consecutive Solheim Cup victory this September, exclusively live from Finca Cortesin in Spain, live on Sky Sports

“I’m very pleased with my team!” Pettersen said. “Madelene [Sagstrom] was an obvious choice. She was right there in the pack with the rest of the eight qualifiers, has experience and is a great team player. It’s been great following Gemma [Dryburgh] and her performances over the past year, she has a very consistent game, is a great putter and has a great personality.

“Emily [Pedersen] is a fierce competitor especially in match play, she has the experience and I know what I’m going to get from her. I can’t think of a more competitive player than Caroline [Hedwall]. I’m very happy to have her on our team. She compliments the team perfectly with her game and records in the Solheim Cup.”

Who will win the 2023 Solheim Cup? Watch exclusively live this September on Sky Sports! Live coverage from the opening ceremony begins at 5pm on Thursday September 21, with live coverage of the opening day on Friday September 22 from 6.30am. Stream the Solheim Cup and more with NOW.

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