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Dale Reid on Solheim Cup defensive

If Europe had won the Solheim Cup at Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota on Sunday, team captain Dale Reid would have been a heroine. But the 15½-12½ loss following a final-day crushing in the singles inevitably resulted in criticism of the Scot’s decision to leave out her two compatriots, Janice Moodie and Catriona Matthew.

Reid had four wild cards, and they had mixed results. Carin Koch was the top points scorer with four-and-a-half from five matches, Laura Davies contributed two points and was worth her weight in experience, while Helen Alfredsson and the sole Scot, Mhairi McKay, collected one point apiece. Tellingly, none of the wild cards won a point in the singles.

Alfredsson had come under fire as the most questionable selection, and two missed short putts at a vital stage in her 2 and 1 singles defeat from Emilee Klein meant she ended her seventh - and possibly last - cup encounter in tears.

Afterwards, Reid admitted that the current selection process might not produce Europe’s 12 best players. At the moment, it is seven from the European rankings (it was eight this time because of a tie between Maria Hjorth and Iben Tinning) and five wild cards. Moodie and Matthew both play almost full-time in the States, which was held against them when the European team was announced.

"It is hard because there are so many Europeans playing on the LPGA Tour in America," said the Ladybank player, who is loyal to the Evian European Tour.

"But what makes it hard is when you have got so much talent to choose from and you have to leave someone out."

Reid’s remark unwittingly drew attention to her own failure - having gambled on her instinct rather than selecting on the basis of form, she left out the wrong players.

Reid also revealed that her choice on this occasion had been slightly swayed by the fact that the two Spaniards, Raquel Carriedo and Paula Marti, are, to put it mildly, not the best of buddies.

"Everyone was saying I had a potential Ballesteros/Olazabal pairing, but far from it," explained Reid. "They both speak Spanish, but not to each other. That did affect my picks because I had to make sure I had enough options with foursome and fourball partners."

Reid also felt that her squad had nothing to be ashamed of despite their capitulation on the final day .

"As far as I am concerned, I wouldn’t say the Americans were better than the Europeans. I don’t think the Europeans are better than the Americans. It’s all on the day."

Heartbroken that she couldn’t repeat the heroic win from Loch Lomond two years ago and become the first European winner on US soil, a weary Reid admitted she was now quite happy to hand over the captain’s reins to Catrin Nilsmark. The Swede will be in charge for next year’s match at Barseback near Malmo.

"It’s a bit of a relief to step down because it’s a very tough job," added Reid. "But I wish Catrin the very best of luck, and I just hope the Americans remember that they have only borrowed the cup."


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