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Solheim Cup: Suzann Pettersen on why 'crystal ball gets stronger' for historic Team Europe threepeat

Suzann Pettersen secured the winning point in Europe's dramatic 14.5-13.5 win at Gleneagles in 2019 and served as vice-captain for the 2021 success; Pettersen hoping to captain Europe to a third consecutive win from September 22-24, live on Sky Sports

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Trish Johnson and Henni Koyack predict who may feature for Team Europe this September in Spain

Suzann Pettersen believes Team Europe are looking stronger than ever with six months to go until their bid for a historic Solheim Cup threepeat in Spain.

Pettersen is captain for the next two editions of the biennial contest, live on Sky Sports, with Team Europe chasing a record third consecutive victory when they welcome Team USA to Finca Cortesin from September 22-24.

Six different European players won on the LPGA Tour last season and plenty of others have enjoyed success on the Ladies European Tour over the past year with Pettersen excited by the options she is likely to have available.

Image: Catriona Matthew led Team Europe to a 15-13 victory in the 2021 contest, seeing them successfully defend their title on American soil

"I've looked into the crystal ball for many months already, and the crystal ball only gets stronger and stronger in my opinion," Pettersen said last month, when she was confirmed as 2024 captain. "I love the progression that a lot of the European players have had and are having these days.

"A lot of our players have won over the last year. That's very important because winning brings confidence, and confidence brings belief again.

"I want players to kind of believe in themselves that we can manage to bring it home once again on home soil. I really love how the team is shaping, and most importantly how all the players are feeling with their game and kind of the progress they have in whatever they're working on.

"It's nice to have more than just one or two players who are winning. We've had several ones, and it's also fun to see the rookies who are desperate to make the team. I find that very exciting."

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Image: Suzann Pettersen is hoping to captain Team Europe to a third consecutive Solheim Cup success

England's Lily May Humphreys claimed her breakthrough Ladies European Tour title this season and Pauline Roussin is also an early-season winner, while German teenager Chiara Noja was among the rising stars who reached the winner's circle during the 2022 campaign.

"There's no player that's going to go under my radar," Pettersen added. "This team is open for young players to come grab spots. I would love to have some experience among the players, but I want the players that are playing the best golf at the moment when the team is picked.

"I've communicated to all the players. There are a lot of players that I would love to have on the team, but at the same time, they have to prove to me and to the rest of the world that they kind of earned their spot."

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Trish Johnson and Henni Koyack predict who may feature for Team Europe this September in Spain

Who would currently qualify for Team Europe?

The top two players in the European Solheim Cup standings and the top six players in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, not already eligible, secure automatic spots at the end of the qualification campaign.

Maja Stark currently tops the European Solheim Cup standings after winning the Lalla Meryem Cup in February, her sixth Ladies European Tour victory in 17 months, with Linn Grant in close second after four LET titles last season and finishing runner-up to her compatriot in Morocco.

Leona Maguire, Celine Boutier, Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Madelene Sagstrom and Anna Nordqvist would currently get those six spots based on world rankings, although that provisional line-up is likely to change significantly over the coming months.

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Highlights from Charley Hull's victory at The Ascendant LPGA in October

The team will then be finalised after the concusion of the ISPS Handa World Invitational on August 20, with Pettersen having four captain's picks at her disposal to complete her line-up.

What about Team USA?

The top seven players in the US Solheim Cup standings when qualifying ends at the CP Women's Open on August 28 will feature for Team USA, along with the top two players in the world rankings not already eligible.

Nelly Korda, Lexi Thompson, Lilia Vu, Danielle Kang, Jennifer Kupcho, Andrea Lee and Megan Khang are currently the leading seven in the Solheim Cup list, while Jessica Korda and Allisen Corpuz would qualify as things stand via their world ranking.

Stacy Lewis will reveal her three captain's picks at the end of August, with the 38-year-old looking to guide Team USA to a first victory since 2017 and first on European soil since their dramatic 2015 success in Germany.

Can Europe enjoy a historic Solheim Cup success this autumn? Watch live from September 22-24 on Sky Sports Golf!

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