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Captains name Solheim Cup wild cards

Nancy Lopez went with veterans for her two captain's picks to the U.S. Solheim Cup team, selecting Wendy Ward and Hall of Famer Beth Daniel to complete the 12-player team that will face Europe on Sept. 9-11 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.

Lopez announced her choices Sunday after Cristie Kerr, the No. 1 player on the U.S. Solheim points list, won the Wendy's Championship for Children.

Also on the team are LPGA rookie of the year Paula Creamer, Laura Diaz, Natalie Gulbis, Pat Hurst, Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Christina Kim, Meg Mallon, Michele Redman and Kerr.

The European team was announced Sunday by captain Catrin Nilsmark. The automatic qualifiers on the European points list were Annika Sorenstam, Laura Davies, Maria Hjorth, Trish Johnson, Ludivine Kreutz, Gwladys Nocera and Iben Tinning. Nilsmark had five captain's picks and selected Sophie Gustafson, Carin Koch, Catriona Matthew, Karen Stupples and Suzann Pettersen.

Creamer is the first rookie to make the U.S. team.

"All I can say is they [the Europeans] had better get ready because they're going to get beat,'' she said, her teammates laughing and applauding behind her. "I'm putting it down. I'm very confident.''

She then turned to her 11 teammates and Lopez and said, "What are you guys laughing about? You don't want to win? Let's go U-S-A.''

Ward was No. 13 and Daniel No. 14 in the points standings. Lopez chose them over No. 11 Dorothy Delasin, No. 12 Heather Bowie and No. 15 Stacy Prammanasudh.

Daniel has won 12 1/2 points in seven Solheim Cup appearances; Ward has won 2 1/2 points in two Solheims.

The point system was based on finishes over the past two years, with additional weight given to 2005 tournaments and major championships.

"I wish I had 15 members on the team,'' Lopez said. "I had to turn away three players last night and this morning. It was very, very hard. They didn't do anything wrong.''

The U.S. has won five of the eight Solheim Cups and has never lost at home.

Lopez said she was certain her team had enough talent and experience.

"We've got a great team,'' she said. "We've practiced together, we've hung out together. We have one of the strongest teams bondingwise as well as playingwise that we will ever have.''

 

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