PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – This coming week the Solheim Cup will be played in Colorado. The event is played every two years and pits some of the top U.S. women players against Europe. The U.S. has never lost the event on home soil and that trend might just continue.
The Mile High City is no stranger to home field advantage. Despite only three playoff appearances in 21 seasons, the Rockies have still won 55 percent of their games at home. The Nuggets went 38-3 last season at the Pepsi Center — the best home record in the entire NBA. And no NFL team has had a better home record during the past 32 years than the Broncos. So when the Solheim Cup tees off this week at the Colorado Golf Club, Team USA wants that same home cookin’.
“I went to the Broncos game last winter and I see how loud these fans are there, so I expect a lot of that here on the first tee at the Solheim Cup,” Team USA Captain Meg Mallon said.
“There are not many opportunities we have to really get fans all on one side, and so this tournament, the Solheim Cup, is unlike anything else people have gone to,” Stacy Lewis with Team USA said. “So more fans, the more USA chants we can get going, I think the better off we’ll all be.”
Home field advantage is no guarantee. Broncos fans learned that last January when the Baltimore Ravens shocked Denver, and then again in April when the Golden State Warriors upset the Nuggets.
Team Europe finds itself in that same position, and like road teams in other sports, the best sound they hope to hear is silence.
“It’s exactly the same for us. If it’s quiet out there it probably means that the home team isn’t playing too well,” Team Europe Captain Liselotte Neumann said. “So if we can keep the crowds as quiet as possible, that would be good for us.”
“I always say there’s no more satisfying feeling than to sink that putt or win that hole to make everyone quiet when all they do is root against you,” Anna Nordqvist with Team Europe said.
Whether playing for the U.S. or Europe one thing will be the same for both teams –pressure. The players normally play for themselves. When that changes and they play for a partner, a team and a country or continent, the pressure is much more intense.
“The pressure at Solheim is unlike any. I use the best example – is you’re walking up the 18th hole with the lead trying to win a golf tournament on every single hole that you play,” Lewis said. “You know you want to play well for yourself, you want to play well for your country, your teammates, the fans, the past captains, the current; there are so many people you want to play well for, it’s hard to just really block out … it’s tough.”
“It’s an honor. I remember the first time I played … 1993, Greenbrier … I was standing at the tee and somebody said I looked green in my face,” she said. “I was extremely nervous but I was very proud as well. The last thing you want to do is let your teammates down,” Annika Sorenstam said.
“It’s one of those events that’s on a bucket list where you have to be there,” Mallon said. “It’s great on TV, but being here, there’s nothing like it. We call it football golf. You can actually scream and yell at a golf tournament. Normally you have to be quiet. We encourage you to yell and scream and be as patriotic as you can.”
Team USA is a perfect 6-0 on home soil at the Solheim Cup. This year they’re hoping for a little Mile High magic to keep the streak alive.