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Nicholas sets European Solheim Cup team

The European Solheim Cup team was finalized on Monday with the four players from the Rolex Rankings and the four captain's picks.

With Melissa Reid, Laura Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Christel Boeljon already automatically qualified from the European Solheim Cup points list, Maria Hjorth, Anna Nordqvist, Catriona Matthew and Sophie Gustafson made Alison Nicholas' team as the four highest-ranked players not otherwise qualified.

Nicholas completed her squad with the additions of Sandra Gal, Caroline Hedwall, Azahara Munoz and Karen Stupples.

"It has been a difficult decision to make, we thought long and hard, but I have to say, my two vice captains -- Annika Sorenstam and Joanne Morley -- have been indispensable, and it was a unanimous decision," Nicholas stated. "I got both of them to write their four picks down and I wrote mine down.

"And they happened to be the same. So that confirms our decision. I am excited that we're all on the same page."

Matthew will play her sixth Solheim Cup, while Hjorth will be in her fifth. This will be Nordqvist's second straight appearance, but Gustafson will participate in her eighth consecutive Solheim Cup.

Nicholas' picks were all rookies with the exception of Stupples. The former Women's British Open champion played in the 2005 Solheim Cup and she went 0-2.

Gal, a German, won this year's Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour, while Munoz's only title was in Europe at the Madrid Ladies Masters two years ago. Munoz shared eighth at this year's LPGA Championship.

Hedwall is perhaps the strongest pick by Nicholas. The Swede won this year's Ladies Slovak Open and the Finnair Masters and in both instances, Boeljon finished second.

The American Solheim Cup team was finalized last week with Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lang, Christina Kim, 51-year-old assistant captain Juli Inkster and Sunday's Canadian Women's Open winner Brittany Lincicome making the team on points.

U.S. captain Rosie Jones rounded out her team with Vicky Hurst, then shocked everyone when she tabbed Ryan O'Toole.

The Solheim Cup will take place September 23-25 at Killeen Castle Golf Resort in Ireland. The U.S. has won the last three Solheim Cups.