Golf-Europe braced for 'about zero' support at Solheim Cup
By Frank Pingue
Sept 1 (Reuters) - Winning a Solheim Cup in enemy territory has always been a tall order but restrictions on certain travellers into the United States due to COVID-19 will magnify the task at hand, European team members said on Wednesday.
Unlike past editions of the biennial women's team event between Europe and the United States that drew enthusiastic supporters of both teams, the Sept. 4-6 Solheim Cup in Toledo, Ohio will increase the Americans' home advantage.
"We're just going to have to accept the fact that we don't know if there's going to be any fans other than some significant others out there for us," Swede Anna Nordqvist told reporters at Inverness Club.
"But we got each other and I think that's the most important."
Europe are reigning champions having won the 2019 event in Scotland. The U.S. hold a 10-6 edge in Solheim Cup competition.
There have only been four occasions when the visiting team won. Europe's lone road victory came in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club.
"The fact that we have only won once in Colorado shows how difficult it is to win away from home," said European captain Catriona Matthew.
"Obviously, this year it is going to be more difficult and be more of a challenge for us, but I think in a way we can rise to that. Rather than just thinking we're going to have a few fans, we're kind of really expecting ... about zero fans.
"A few Europeans who perhaps are living in the States can make it here, but it certainly won't be the same presence that we normally have at an away match."
Madelene Sagstrom, playing in her second Solheim Cup, said her team will be eager to silence the American fans.
"From the perspective of the fans and where we are, I think we're more of that, maybe that underdog playing on U.S. soil," said Sagstrom.
"But we already are talking about it, we know what to expect and that we're going to give them something to be quiet for, that's for sure."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)