Solheim Cup 2013: Players Who Need to Step Up for Team USA
Team USA is looking to avoid losing the Solheim Cup after Team Europe won it in 2011, and Michelle Wie is one of the Americans who must step up.
The first day got off to a rocky start for the Americans as Team Europe took a 3-1 lead into Friday afternoon, with scoring courtesy of LPGAScoring.com.
It's not a devastating start; there's still plenty of time for Team USA to turn it around. However, it was not a good start to the event after Team Europe ended the last Solheim Cup with a bang.
As the afternoon goes on, Team USA needs good performances out of key players in order to keep Europe from repeating.
Here is a list of those players for the Solheim Cup 2013.
Some people felt Michelle Wie shouldn't have made the team. Captain Meg Mallon wasn't one of those people.
Wie has missed the cut in six of her 17 tournaments this year. She hasn't finished higher than tied for ninth (a feat she has accomplished twice) this season and has struggled recently.
She is also ranked No. 82 in the world right now.
None of that matters anymore. She will now be expected to carry her weight and help her country win the Solheim Cup.
The 23-year-old has shown signs of promise lately. In July, she shot above one-over for a round only twice. She had a very good month and could carry her success into this event.
Wie has been in the news for years now. When she joins Cristie Kerr on the course, Wie will need to put her past struggles behind her and have a good day.
This has nothing to do with being paired with Wie on Day 1. Cristie Kerr is looking for a shot at redemption.
Kerr still has memories of the 2011 Solheim Cup, according to Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press (via Yahoo!). Kerr had to withdraw from the event because of an injury on the final day, which gave Europe a key point. They won the event 15-13.
Now she must move past that disappointing finish and be ready to play all weekend.
Kerr is ranked No. 12 in the world, so her team expects her to compete at a high level. She has finished lower than 20th only once since March, which shows how well she has done in recent months.
The team is counting on her to be strong all weekend. A good performance by Kerr will bode well for Team USA.
The only issue Brittany Lang has had is consistency. The 27-year-old hasn't been able to put together a string of good performances this year.
Who is the biggest key to Team USA's success?
She has missed the cut in two of her last three events, but she usually finishes high when she makes the cut. She has finished at least tied for 13th or higher in five tournaments since the end of May.
Lang got off to a rough start this year but has really turned it around. Now her biggest challenge will be to become more reliable.
If there is a positive to her inconsistency, it's that she missed the cut in her last tournament, which could mean that she is due for a good outing in Colorado.
Team USA needs great performances out of its inconsistent players like Lang. Team Europe is looking to repeat at the event and got off to a quick start.
Friday afternoon will be a time where some of these key players can show their team how to set the tone. It's not going to be easy, but Team USA is hoping to see these key players help win some points.
*All stats are courtesy of LPGA.com
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