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Europe changes Solheim Cup selection

Europe is changing how it picks the Solheim Cup team by leaning on the Women's World Rankings.

The top 5 will come from LET standings, followed by 4 from the world rankings. That leaves Helen Alfredsson with 3 captain's picks to fill out the team.

Laura Davies gave her backing to the changes.

"I think this is the best combination because it keeps it fair for the Ladies European Tour, but it also rewards the Europeans who play elsewhere in the world," said Davies, who has played in every contest since the inaugural event in Florida in 1990. "By using the Rolex World Rankings, it gives everyone a chance to play their way into the team.

"No one will ever be happy because every player wants to improve their own position, but I support it because it's a method and you've got to stand by that," she added. "I don't think the change to the number of picks will matter because I think Alfie [captain Helen Alfredsson] will make some good choices."

Alfredsson is happy that more of her team will qualify by right.

"I have always been in favor of reducing the number of captain's picks as I think that competitors should have to play their way onto the team," said Alfredsson, a seven-time European team member. "Hopefully this [new system] will mean that we can maximize the potential of the European team for The 2007 Solheim Cup at Halmstad.

"It's been very difficult to qualify over the past few years because of the high number of global playing opportunities and people play in so many different places," she explained. "With this new method, more players can be included in the selection process but at the same time, the first five places on the team are given to the top players from the Ladies European Tour."

"I think this system gives you a better chance of making the team regardless of where you play in the world, as long as you are a member of the Ladies European Tour and play the minimum number of qualifying events," said Scotland's Catriona Matthew, who has played in three Solheim Cups.

"The changes were definitely needed because the U.S. team is only going to get stronger in the years to come as they have a wealth of young talent coming through and already on the scene," she added. "I think the Europeans will definitely benefit with a greater depth in the team possibly giving the captain more options in pairings."


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