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Team Europe selects three newcomers to join Solheim’s title defense

Captain Catriona Matthew has selected three newcomers to the Solheim Cup for Team Europe’s title defense as the biennial tournament kicks off next week at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Europe tackles favorite United States with newcomer Nanna Madsen of Denmark, who finished fifth at the British Women’s Open in Ireland on Sunday Leona Maguire and Finland’s Matilda Castren among the six captain choices.

Maguire and Castren are the first players from their respective nations to compete around Europe in the tournament.

“I still don’t think it’s really sunk in, but it brings tears of joy to my eyes when I think about it,” said Castren, who won her first LPGA tournament at the Mediheal Championships in June.

Matthew also selected the Solheim veterans Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, who finished second at the British Open, Celine Boutier of France and England’s Mel Reid.

The United States has won 10 of the 16 editions of the Solheim Cup and is favorites, with the world number 1 Nelly Korda expect to anchor.

But Matthew said last week she was not worried about accepting the “underdogs” brand before the tournament.

Sweden joins Team Europe through automatic qualifications Anna Nordqvist, who secured her third big victory with one stroke at Carnoustie on Sunday, German Sophia Popov, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark and England’s Charley Hull and Georgia Hall.

The U.S. team will be announced later Monday.

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