Team Europe prepare for Solheim Cup with 15th Club

August 16, 2017
Chris Mann

The 2017 Solheim Cup gets underway at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa later this week, with Europe and the USA competing for the most prestigious trophy in women’s golf.

Captained by former world number one Annika Sorenstam, Team Europe have worked closely with 15th Club in the lead-up to the tournament in order to facilitate a more objective approach to selection and team strategy.

After being asked to support Annika and her vice captains with data-driven insights during the selection process, we developed a dedicated app to analyse the performance of over 70 players who were eligible for qualification. Powered by our unique Performance Index, the app ranked players according to long-term form rather than short-term results as well as projecting potential team lineups.

As qualifying progressed, our analysts spoke with Annika and her team on a weekly basis to discuss player performance. We were particularly involved in wildcard selection discussions towards the end of the process, identifying players who may not initially have been on the radar but whose high underlying performance levels were flagged by the app.

“Of the wildcard picks, Anna Nordqvist was an obvious choice as she was number one in the Performance Index but failed to qualify after missing events through illness,” said Jake Nichols, Head of Golf Intelligence at 15th Club. “Madelene Sagstrom had an excellent debut on the Symetra Tour and had made the top 50 in the Performance Index by May 2017, making her the second highest-rated European not to qualify automatically. Finally, Caroline Masson made a late surge with strong finishes at the Scottish and British Opens. It’s not always wise to bank on form, but her projected performance was equal to the level of a typical captain’s pick.”

Providing context around data and highlighting the attributes that correlated with strong, sustainable performance, our technology and consultancy have enabled Team Europe to take a more objective approach to selection and go into this week’s tournament fully prepared and ready to battle for the Solheim Cup.

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