(Reuters) - United States captain Juli Inkster opted for both experience and a vocal locker room presence in announcing Paula Creamer and Brittany Lang on Monday as her two wildcard picks for this year’s Solheim Cup.
Creamer, 29, will make her sixth appearance in the biennial team competition against Europe while Lang, 30, will play on her fourth U.S. team when the 14th edition of the event will be held from Sept. 18-20 at the St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany.
”I‘m very pleased with my two captain’s picks,“ said Inkster, who announced her selections on Golf Channel. ”They add a lot to the team not just as far as golf but chemistry and experience. They are very competitive players.
”Brittany is a great locker room person. She’s got a great sense of humor, really chilled and laidback. I can put her with anybody and I feel confident that they will mesh together. She’s played great the last part of this year. She was an easy pick.
“Paula has been in a little bit of a funk but I expect her to be out of it and ready to go. She knows the pressure is going to be on her, being a captain’s pick. I feel like she can handle it. She’s a great matchplay player.”
Lang boasts a 5-4-2 overall record after representing the U.S. at the Solheim Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2013, leading the team with three points in her most recent appearance.
Creamer, whose only major victory came at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, has a Cup record of 12-6-5 and ranks third in the all-time points standings for her country.
She was delighted to earn one of the two captain’s picks after struggling on the LPGA Tour for much of this season with just three top-10s and missed cuts in her last three starts.
”It was very stressful,“ said Creamer. ”I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself (to make the Solheim Cup team). It’s a crazy roller coaster of emotions, that’s for sure.
“I‘m incredibly honored. I can’t wait to get over to Germany and be a part of the team.”
Creamer and Lang will join Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Gerina Piller, Alison Lee and Lizette Salas, who had already qualified for the team.
Holders Europe will bid to win the trophy for a third successive time.
“It’s tough playing overseas but I think it’s going to be great for us because the pressure is on them (Europe),” Inkster said.
“They’re the two-time defending champs and we have to go over there and prove that we can beat them. We’ve got to make the crowd silent.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine