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Sorenstam not happy with Solheim Cup picks

Don't count on the European Solheim Cup team being one big happy family next week when the players battle the Americans at Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

One of the siblings, Annika Sorenstam, is upset about who was left off the team and thinks the criteria that deterimine the team need to be changed. On Tuesday, Sorenstam aired her disbelief about captain Dale Reid's five wild-cardpicks. The No. 2 player in the world thought there were two players, most notablyher sister Charlotta, who deserved to be on the team and were mysteriously passed over.

"To be honest, I was shocked by the picks," Sorenstam said. "I think there are two players that deserve to be on the team that are not on theteam." Besides her sister, Sorenstam felt that Scotland'sCatriona Matthew had better credentials to makethe team.

Both had been on the team in 1998 and both are currently in the top 40 on the LPGA money list. Charlotta, who is ranked 20th, which is higherthan all but four of the European Solheim members, even picked up her first career victory by besting Karrie Webb and Annika at the Standard Register PING in Phoenix earlier this season.

When Annika got the disturbing news she immediately called her sister to console her. But Charlotta had yet heard that she was left out, so Annika had the unenviable task of springing the bad news.

"I told her I didn't understand what was happening. I told her it must have been some kind of joke because she is right now 20 on the money list," said Annika, who began to choke up retelling the phone conversation.

"It's really tough to understand why she's not on the team."

While the Sorenstam sisters haven't always been on the best of terms, the two have settled their differences over the past couple of years. At the last Solheim Cup, that wasn't the case, and the two didn't team together in any of the matches. Annika was hoping that she could make up for lost time this year.

"I wish there was something I could do to help her, because we had talked about playing together, either in alternate shot or in best ball; and so there goes myteam," Annika Sorenstam said.

"So I was fairly disappointed and sad for her." Sorenstam thinks they would have been a tough team and has actually chosen Charlotta to be her partner in the upcoming World Cup in Malaysia. But that stilldoesn't make up for Charlotta's disappointment at not being selected.

Annika Sorenstam - not happy at Solheim Cup wild card picks. .Allsport.

"We are getting along really well, and I think we play similar golf. It would have been fun. I mean, we have a lot in common, and I really think we would have done welltogether," Annika said.

"I am going to play with her in Malaysia in the World Cup; so, that gives us a chance to prove that, but it doesn't really make her feel anybetter at this time."

Annika didn't single out anyone who shouldn't have made the team, but the obvious question marks are Liselotte Neumann and Helen Alfredsson. The two have both had sub-par years but made the team because of their experience. Neumann, who is currently No. 54 on the LPGA money list, and Alfredsson, who is No. 72, have both played on every European Solheim team. Because of the snubs, Sorenstam would like to see the politics taken out of theselection process and players rewarded for playing well no matter what tour they play.

Currently, European players can only earn points to make the Solheim team by playing in European events. Sorenstam would like see some kind of system set up that would include the performances from the LPGA events, which most of the Europeans play on a full-time basis.

"We have a system now that it's very difficult to get the best players on the team, and I definitely want to see a different system in the future," said Annika, who will be playing in her fourth Solheim Cup.

"Actually, I'd like to see a world ranking for the women and pick the best 12 European players on that. You should somehow get points playing over here (LPGA Tour), because there is where all of the best players in the world are, and this is where we all want to play. Sorenstam isn't really sure what is the best way to select the team, but she knowsthings are going to have to be changed if the Europeans want to have better chance of beating the Americans, who have dominated the event with a 4-1 record.

To find asolution, she is even is willing to use her mathematical expertise. "I don't know, I haven't really figured something out, but I'd be happy to," Sorenstam said. "I mean, I love numbers; I could figure out a fair system."

 

 

 

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