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Sunday 19 August 2018

Solheim surprise on the cards - Reid

MELISSA Reid has backed Europe's Solheim Cup team to spring a surprise and beat their American counterparts in this weekend's Transatlantic battle.

Europe have not won the biennial contest since 2003 and will again be underdogs over the Killeen Castle course in Meath, but rookie Reid, 24, believes form favours the home team.

The English golfer said: "On paper we are probably coming in as slight underdogs, but I think all 12 players are playing really, really well.

"We need to take our chances when we get given them. I think there's a good buzz on the European team, and hopefully we can snatch it from them."

While Europe's men dominate the professional game, the same cannot be said for the women.

Over the last four years, only two Europeans -- Solheim Cup team members Anna Nordqvist and Catriona Matthew -- have broken that sequence, a statistic Reid believes can partly be attributed to the lack of opportunities on the LPGA Tour.

She said: "It's not as easy for us to go out there and play on the LPGA as it is for the guys. So we don't get to play against the same sort of competition as they do. Maybe that's the difference.

"I think definitely we've got something to prove, especially somebody like myself who is desperate to try to get on the LPGA."

Reid could not be coming into the contest in better form having won the Open de Espana Femenino last week, her second Ladies European Tour title of the season. She qualified for the European team for the first time at the head of the rankings and also finished third over the same course at the Irish Open.

Reid added: "I've got some good memories here. I think the course is set up really, really well. Winning last week was nice. It gave me a nice boost of confidence coming into this week."

While Reid prepares for her first Solheim Cup, Laura Davies will be making her 12th appearance and is the only golfer to play in every one of the contests.

The 47-year-old said: "I'm obviously very pleased. That means I've played at a consistent level for a long time.

"The ultimate every two years is to qualify for the team and not worry about getting a captain's pick."

Davies believes the outcome of tomorrow and Saturday's foursomes and fourballs will be crucial if Europe are to have a chance of victory, and she has called on the home supporters to make themselves heard.

"They've proven over the years the singles are their forte," added Davies of the US side. "I think we need a lead going into the singles. If we don't have a lead, we'll be in a little bit of a trouble.

"The home advantage is not the golf course, it's the fans, it's the galleries, it's the cheering you get. You know all over the golf course who's won a hole."

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