August 25, 2015 / 10:59 AM / 2 years ago

Europe captain Koch names four Solheim wildcards

Carin Koch of Sweden lines up her shot on the 8th hole during the first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters December 10, 2014.Caren Firouz

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe captain Carin Koch has named Karine Icher, Caroline Hedwall, Caroline Masson and Catriona Matthew as her four wildcard picks for next month's Solheim Cup against the United States.

Frenchwoman Icher, Swede Hedwall, German Masson and Scot Matthew join Suzann Pettersen, Gwladys Nocera, Charley Hull, Melissa Reid, Anna Nordqvist, Azahara Munoz, Sandra Gal and Carlota Ciganda in Koch's 12-strong team.

Europe will attempt to win the biennial team event, the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup, for the third straight time at the St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Heidelberg, Germany from Sept. 18-20.

"We’ve got a great mixture of youth and experience which really excites me as captain," Swede Koch said in a news release on Tuesday. "Each of our players has a role to play and I have a team of stars.

"Now the team is finalised we can all have full focus for the week in Germany and I can’t wait to see the players together at St Leon-Rot."

Icher, Hedwall, Masson and Matthew were all involved when Europe scored an 18-10 victory over the U.S. in Colorado two years ago.

Hedwall, who was also a member of the triumphant 2011 team, rewrote the history books in Colorado when she became the first player to win five out of five matches.

She also claimed the 14th point that retained the trophy for Europe.

PUMPED UP

"When Carin called I was really happy because I love the Solheim Cup and I'm really pumped up to get to Germany," said the 26-year-old Swede.

"I’m hoping people will come from all over Europe to support the team."

Masson, who earned two and a half points as a rookie in 2013, was delighted to be picked to play in her home country.

"It’s been a huge goal to make the team for the last two years and I have been waiting for that call," said the 26-year-old.

Icher, 36, will be making her first Solheim Cup appearance on European soil having played on the 2002 and 2013 teams in the U.S.

Matthew, 46, who secured the winning point in Sweden in 2003, is the most experienced player in the team along with Norwegian Pettersen.

Captain Juli Inkster's U.S. side will be represented by Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Gerina Piller, Alison Lee, Lizette Salas, Paula Creamer and Brittany Lang.

Editing by Ed Osmond/Amlan Chakraborty

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