Paul McGinley: Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup to produce exciting finishes between Europe and USA


Paul McGinley

Golf Columnist

Team Europe chase a third consecutive Solheim Cup victory this week in Spain, while Team USA look to retain the Ryder Cup and win on away soil in Rome next week; Watch both events exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 21/09/23 3:39pm


Watch the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the Solheim Cup is from September 22-24 and the Ryder Cup is live from September 29-October 1

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Watch the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the Solheim Cup is from September 22-24 and the Ryder Cup is live from September 29-October 1

Watch the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the Solheim Cup is from September 22-24 and the Ryder Cup is live from September 29-October 1

Former Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley looks ahead to a big two weeks of team golf and explains why both the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup are tough to predict a winner…

I’m looking forward to the Solheim Cup and being in southern Europe for two weeks in a row. Europe have had a lot of success over the last few years and, by world rankings, they look to be even stronger than they were two years ago.

These are two very young teams – two of the youngest in history, for either side, but what is really important in any team is a vibe and energy. You can read it through the body language of the players and I certainly picked up on that for Europe in their win in Ohio in 2021.

Henni Koyack takes a look at who will feature for Team Europe as they hope to secure a third consecutive Solheim Cup which starts on Friday

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Henni Koyack takes a look at who will feature for Team Europe as they hope to secure a third consecutive Solheim Cup which starts on Friday

Henni Koyack takes a look at who will feature for Team Europe as they hope to secure a third consecutive Solheim Cup which starts on Friday

There’s no doubt Europe had great body language and looked like a team infused with a lot of energy, which is something that really impressed. They also looked like a team that had one thing on their mind and that was winning away from home, which they duly delivered.

Going in as favourites puts a target on your back, with what many would call a stronger team. It can be difficult, but the big advantage they’re going to have is the home crowd. That’s always very influential, it’s a great situation to be in when you’re favourites.

You can’t over-egg it either way, because teams are so evenly matched. The main thing is to drive the team towards performance. If they perform well, they’ll win – with the advantage of playing at home.

Team Europe captain Suzann Pettersen looks ahead to the 2023 Solheim Cup and says the players are set on what will happen on Friday with regards to pairings

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Team Europe captain Suzann Pettersen looks ahead to the 2023 Solheim Cup and says the players are set on what will happen on Friday with regards to pairings

Team Europe captain Suzann Pettersen looks ahead to the 2023 Solheim Cup and says the players are set on what will happen on Friday with regards to pairings

Sticking to a winning formula

I think, as a team, you use what has worked in the past as a base. You’ve got some young players coming in and it’s important that you don’t break up tried and tested partnerships to integrate some younger people in – you’ve got to do it in a constructive way.

It’s easy to get lost with working too hard on the rookies. Ultimately, your top players are going to win these events for you – whether that’s the Solheim Cup or the Ryder Cup. The players that play four or five matches, they’re the key. It’s important they’re in very strong partnerships and are properly engaged in the task ahead.

Live Solheim Cup Golf

September 22, 2023, 6:30am

Live on Sky Sports Golf HD

It’s not a question of treating everyone exactly the same – in theory that’s what you want to do, but in reality you lean towards the top players who are carrying the workload in terms of winning the most points.

That’s what Suzann Pettersen will be looking for from her players. You’ve got to get into their heads mentally to get a performance out of them. Ultimately, that is what will determine whether Europe win or not.

As the Solheim Cup gets under way on September 22, we take a look back at some classic winning moments from down the years between Team USA and Team Europe

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As the Solheim Cup gets under way on September 22, we take a look back at some classic winning moments from down the years between Team USA and Team Europe

As the Solheim Cup gets under way on September 22, we take a look back at some classic winning moments from down the years between Team USA and Team Europe

I think both the Solheim and Ryder Cup are going to come right down to the wire, with all four teams having a lot of players in form. For golf, it would be great to have two team events back-to-back come down a big finish and creating great excitement.

The majors this year haven’t been particularly exciting, with many of them seemingly having a clear winner with four or five holes to go. With the Solheim Cup, it has been one or two points in the last two editions and there’s no reason to say that it’s not going to be close again.

Davies: Strength in depth key for Europe

Dame Laura Davies is serving as vice-captain for this year’s contest, having played in a record 12 Solheim Cups, with the Englishwoman impressed with the strength that Europe have to offer within their line-up.

Dame Laura Davies believes the European team is the strongest she can remember in the history of the Solheim Cup

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Dame Laura Davies believes the European team is the strongest she can remember in the history of the Solheim Cup

Dame Laura Davies believes the European team is the strongest she can remember in the history of the Solheim Cup

“We’ve always had really good European teams in terms of the top seven or eight – mainly because in the old days not everyone played on the LPGA Tour,” Davies explained. “This year we’ve got 12 LPGA Tour-based players in the European team. They’re all very confident, great ball-strikers.

“I’d say we haven’t got one superstar, but 12 superstars. Number one through number 12, there’s not much in it. If you look in Suzann’s notebook, there’s about 100,000 different permutations and she’s driving herself mad with it because she has a luxury of riches.

Live Solheim Cup Golf

September 22, 2023, 12:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Golf HD

“I don’t think the girls are thinking as favourites. We’ve won the last two, but we know we could have lost the last two. I’d say it’s 50-50. It could come down to the last match or the last two. I think it probably will. It’s as even a playing field as you’ve ever seen.

“The Americans have got the last two major champions – Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz – and though Lexi Thompson is not playing her best, it’s match play and she’s going to relish this. They’ve also got Nelly Korda. But we’ve got Madelene Sagstrom, Charley Hull and all these players. I just think it’s going to be a feast.”

Who will win the 2023 Solheim Cup? Watch exclusively live on Sky Sports! Live coverage from the opening day begins on Friday from 6.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event. Stream the Solheim Cup and more with NOW.



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