Sunday, January 21, 2018
Golf

Lincicome eager for U.S. fans' Solheim Cup 'push'

PARKER, Colo. — Seminole's Brittany Lincicome is playing in her fourth Solheim Cup for the United States, which has not lost on home soil since the event began in 1990.

Two of Lincicome's previous appearances in the biennial women's competition between the United States and Europe were overseas, including her first. The Americans went 1-1, losing in 2011. A big reason they have been successful at home is the fans, Lincicome said.

"I remember my first time (in Halmstad, Sweden, in 2007), and there was a handful of people cheering for us," she said. "And then obviously when you come to the States and you have every single person in the crowd cheering for you, I think it just gives you that little bit of extra push that you need."

That this year's event is at the Colorado Golf Club on Friday through Sunday is extra motivation coming off losing the Cup, she said: "It's just going to help give us that little bit of edge that we need."

Lincicome, 27, who made the team on world ranking points, said she loves the team camaraderie and spirit of the Cup. "I don't normally wear ribbons or face paints and stuff like that, so … there's nothing like it," she said. "The crazier you get, the better. … If I wasn't on this team, I would be at home right now crying myself asleep because I never want to miss it."

'Nancy Lopez ate here': Since 1990, Nancy Lopez was the only Hispanic player to make the U.S. team until Gerina Mendoza Piller, 27, and Lizette Salas, 24, this year.

Piller grew up in the same town as Lopez, Roswell, N.M., and attended the same high school, Goddard, where Lopez, now 56, played on the boys team (there was no girls team) and helped it win two state titles. The team's trophies and photos are still in the Goddard trophy case. "In our high school cafeteria there's a sign where you get your tray that says, 'Nancy Lopez ate here,' " Piller said.

Changing of the guard: England's Laura Davies, the European team's stalwart in all 12 previous Solheim Cups, neither qualified by points this year nor was picked by the captain, Liselotte Neumann of Sweden.

"I'm very disappointed, but 'Lotta' had some tough decisions to make, and I really didn't give her a good enough reason to put me on the team, apart from reputation," said Davies, 49, who holds the event's records for most matches played (46) and most points earned (25), and is tied with Annika Sorenstam of Sweden for most matches won (22).

Davies, who will work the event as a TV commentator for Britain's Sky Sports, said Norway's Suzann Pettersen, 32, is the leader now. "Suzann (in her seventh Cup) is the most experienced player, and our team (with six rookies) is crying out for experience," Davies said.

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