Solheim Cup 2019: Will Team Europe or Team USA win at Gleneagles?

Ruben Hill
September 12, 2019

In 1992, at Dalmahoy, an incendiary comment attributed to Beth Daniel seemed to spur on the Europeans "Our players are hell-bent on seeing Beth Daniel eat her words", said European captain Mickey Walker at the time. Ahead of this week's contest between Europe and the U.S. here at Gleneagles, the 26-year-old Californian spoke to the Drop Zone Podcast in her native land and gave her views on what the tumult of team tussles means to her.

It seems that Kang, a two-time victor on the LPGA Tour, is a flamboyant individual.

Now she is captaining the team in her home country.

Kang took three points from four matches, and United States captain Juli Inkster, with no fewer than six rookies in her side for the three-day contest, will be counting on her again this time.

"You're trying to take souls, you know", Kang declared.

Nancy Lopez, one of Inkster's assistants, said that being a rookie in anything caused her to step up her game. Yes, these team events have an edge to them, but the line is rarely crossed and shame on Kang for doing so in the countdown to this contest.

Kang, from Southern California, was one of the stars of the American team who really did crush Europe in 2017, winning 16½-11½ at Des Moines in Iowa. The fact we were on USA soil obviously made it better and I heard all the "U.S.A." chants. It's okay. You can boo me. I'll nonetheless have them cheer as loud as they'll, whoever they need to cheer for, however I nonetheless need to hear them.

Pressed by The Scotsman, Kang said been "told personally" that she was going to be booed but declined to reveal by whom. "And this is where the home of golf is, it's where golf started, so I'm excited to see what the fans are going to be like, and I know I'm going to hear that "Olé" song as well. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten that insight if she wasn't assistant captain".

Kang, 26, said she expects to be booed when play gets under way tomorrow and although she later claimed to be joking about the prospect of a hostile reception, there is no doubt she will not back down from a fight. "I like noise. I can't be shushed", insisted Kang when reminded of that incident.

"I'm loud whether I'm in Nevada or in Scotland". That psychological part of it is what's fun for me, that I'm just going after this one person. I'm going to embrace the fans out there for the entire golf course, whenever I get to play. 'But I've played a lot of consistent golf maybe the past two or three months. Either she wins or I win. I like to get some kind of feedback.

Inkster guided the USA to a 16½-11½ victory in Iowa last time out. If you don't win (a tournament) you're technically a loser. So it's hard to win.

"We're not doing a veteran with a rookie", said Inkster.

But there's no getting around the fact that half the USA team has never done this before. I love somebody having my back and I love having their
back.

"You and your caddie are just there, and nobody really understands what you feel and how you felt over a shot like another player". Away from the more hum-drum environments of the week-to-week strokeplay occasions, which can often be greeted with the kind of genteel, polite applause you'd get when Phyllis finishes a slide show of her prize blooms at the local floral art club, the Solheim Cup can be a histrionic hoo-ha during which the traditionally reserved Royal & Ancient game bursts from its straitjacket and goes berserk.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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