Former Cardinal Mhairi McKay Named To European Soldheim Cup Team

Aug. 28, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - At the close of the Wales WPGA Championship, European Solheim Cup captain Dale Reid announced her twelve players for this year's seventh edition of The Solheim Cup, which will take place at Interlachen GC Minnesota from September 20-22.

Former Cardinal Mhairi McKay (1993-97) was a four-time All-American while on The Farm and was crowned Pac-10 Champion in 1997. The four-time All-Pac-10 selection was a two-time member of the Curtis Cup team and World Amateur Team.

With eleven players in the running for either a top seven automatic spot, or one of the wild card positions, it was going to be a controversial day whatever happened.

At the end of the championship, Sweden's Maria Hjorth finished runner up to Asa Gottmo, earning 36 points and played her way into a tie for seventh spot with Denmark's Iben Tinning on exactly 125 points.

Hjorth fired a final round one under par 72, including a terrific up and down at the final hole from the back of the 18th green to book her place in the team to face the USA.

Tinning earned the most valuable two points in her career to date scraping in with a final round 74 to tie for tenth with Laura Davies and Elisabeth Esterl.

That left the Ladies European Tour board with an emergency decision to make, as there was nothing in the rules and regulations to determine what happens in the event of a tie.

Reid, who was consulted throughout the process, agreed it fair to include both Hjorth and Tinning leaving her the top seven qualifiers and four picks for her team. The qualifiers were:

(1) Annika Sorenstam (Sweden)(2) Raquel Carriedo (Spain)(3) Karine Icher (France)(4) Paula Marti (Spain)(5) Sophie Gustafson (Sweden)(6) Suzann Pettersen (Norway)(7=) Iben Tinning (Denmark)(7=) Maria Hjorth (Sweden)

And Reid's four wild card picks were:Laura Davies (England)Mhairi McKay (Scotland)Carin Koch (Sweden)Helen Alfredsson (Sweden)

And as travelling reserve, Elisabeth Esterl from Germany, who finished 10th in the rankings after a solid performance this week.

'I wasn't expecting a tie for seventh as I was tossing a lot of names up for the places and basically with Iben and Maria cutting the places down to four made it easier for me,' said Reid, as she justified her picks at the announcement.

'It was very hard to have a team without Laura, she is a very experienced player and in every Solheim Cup she has performed well, therefore I found it very hard to have a team without her.

'Mhairi McKay, she is leading the birdie and eagles statistics on the LPGA and we are talking about matchplay here and she has had a terrific year to date.

'Carin Koch, another player with a terrific year on the LPGA and her performance at the last Solheim was excellent.

'And Alfie, I think she is still the best matchplayer in the world and also, we have a lot of rookies in the team and I think it is a very good balance for the team. '

The full team to play the USA as Europe defend the trophy and try to win for the first time on American soil is:

The Solheim Cup European Team 2002

Annika SorenstamRaquel CarriedoKarine IcherPaula MartiSophie GustafsonSuzann PettersenIben TinningMaria HjorthLaura DaviesHelen AlfredssonMhairi McKayCarin Koch 

Travelling reserve: Elisabeth Esterl

courtesy of the LPGA

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