Irish rookie Leona Maguire and veteran England partner Mel Reid try to be the first to keep up with the Kordas at the Solheim Cup
- Leona Maguire and Mel Reid have been given a daunting first assignment
- Nelly Korda and sister Jess were an invincible foursome last time
- Women’s Open Champion Anna Nordqvist will lead Europe in Toledo, Ohio
Talk about a baptism of fire. Exciting Irish rookie Leona Maguire and her veteran English partner Mel Reid will take on the Korda sisters on Saturday morning when the Solheim Cup kicks off in Toledo, Ohio.
No. 1 of the world, Nelly and older brother Jess, proved to be an invincible foursome at Gleneagles last time, with no European partnership able to take them past the 15th hole in either of their two matches.
Now their Anglo-Irish opponents have been given the most terrifying first order in the most eye-catching of the opening series of matches.
Leona Maguire (above) and partner Mel Reid have been given a daunting first assignment
World No. 1 Nelly Kordas (above) and older brother Jess proved to be an invincible foursome at Gleneagles last time
Maguire is not to be underestimated. The 26-year-old from Cavan is in rich form, having placed in the top-15 seven consecutive times on the LPGA Tour and had a stunning amateur match play record.
After her amazing Open win in Carnoustie, Anna Nordqvist has been given the honor of leading Europe along with another rookie, Matilda Castren from Finland.
Then come Georgia Hall and her French partner Celine Boutier in an extension of a partnership that netted two of the two points at Gleneagles. Then come Reid and Maguire, followed by Charley Hull in the anchor match alongside Dane Emily Pedersen. They are up against Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.
Britain’s Reid (above) insisted this is the strongest Europe team she’s ever seen
There is a quiet belief in the Europe camp that they can make a successful defense this weekend and win on American soil for the second time. Or not so quiet, when it comes to the articulate Reid.
“This is the strongest Europe team I’ve ever seen,” she said in a statement that could interest the Korda clan.
Captain Catriona Matthew, who last returned for a second stint after the thrilling one-point thriller in her native Scotland, was typically more wary. “It is certainly a very strong Europe team and one in which I have a lot of confidence, but we have a fight on our hands if you look at our opponents,” she said.
The format is the same as the Ryder Cup and concludes with 12 singles matches on Monday, a holiday in America.