Michelle Wie was overcome with emotion when she learned she had made her third U.S. Solheim Cup team as a captain’s pick.
"As soon as I heard those words, I just started bawling," Wie told GolfChannel.com’s Randall Mell after Meg Mallon tapped her as a starter on the squad that will take on the European unit later this month in Colorado. "I started crying and nodding my head yes. I’m just so happy."
Despite Wie’s lackluster play this season, the popular 23-year-old was a "no-brainer" for captain Mallon.
"With her experience, she can handle the big stage," Mallon told reporters about her second of two wild-card options. "She's played well in Solheim Cups, and I just really believe in Michelle Wie, and am excited for her to be coming to Colorado."
Mallon and Euro captain Liselotte Neumann announced their respective teams, which will meet at Colorado Golf Club from August 16 through August 18, shortly after Stacy Lewis staged a dramatic comeback to win the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews. Her two-shot win over Hee Young Park and Na Yeon Choi cemented Lewis’ position as the leader of the U.S. Solheim Cuppers.
With Morgan Pressel qualifying for the team with a T4 finish at St. Andrews and Cup rookies Lexi Thompson and Gerina Piller earning spots, the Americans will head to Colorado with the youngest group (average age: 26 years) in history.
Wie, a lightning rod for criticism since exploding on the golf scene as a pre-teen and failing, in many pundits’ views, to live up to her enormous hype, has a 4-3-1 record in Solheim Cup play. Mallon told Mell she regarded her opting for Wie as her "Greg Norman-Adam Scott moment."
Scott had yet to reach his potential when Norman elected him to the President’s Cup International team four years ago.
"She is under a microscope every single day she plays, and, frankly, the way she handles herself is incredible," Mallon told Mell. "I know being home in the States, having these big crowds, that she can handle that better than anyone, and she has no fear."
The other members of the team who played their way to Colorado were Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang.
Europe, which hopes to hold onto the Cup after winning two years ago in Ireland, also opted for youth, when Neumann added 17-year-old Charley Hull of England, the youngest player in Solheim Cup history, to her team. This year will also be the fist time since the inception of team play in 1990 that England’s Laura Davies will not represent Europe.
The Europeans who qualified to play are Suzann Pettersen, Carlota Ciganda, Catriona Matthew, Caroline Masson, Karine Icher, Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, and Anna Nordqvist. Additional captain’s picks were Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Caroline Hedwell and Giulia Sergas.