Hannah Darling determined to taste Junior Solheim Cup success

Capital star Hannah Darling is aiming to make her dream PING Junior Solheim Cup appearance on home soil a winning one at Gleneagles this week.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 6:00 am
Pia Babnik, Alessia Nobilio, Hannah Darling and Annabell Fuller of Team Europe during practice for The Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. Picture: Jamie Squire/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images

The Americans have won four of the last five meetings with their European counterparts, with the 2011 encounter resulting in a tie.

That makes them overwhelming favourites heading into a two-day tussle starting today on the King’s Course at the Perthshire venue.

But, as she prepares to fly the Saltire in the event, Darling sees no no reason why the home team can’t get their hands on the trophy.

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“It’s going to be tough but we’re on home soil and we’re all playing well so there’s no reason why we can’t win,” said the Broomieknowe 16-year-old.

“Our expectations are to win because I believe we can, but we’re also here to have fun and make memories for life.”

The two-time Scottish Girls’ champion has enjoyed the build up to an event that is very similar to the senior version with 12 players on each team.

“The last few days have been amazing,” she added. “We’ve bonded loads as a team and had so much fun.

“Learning about everyone and seeing how everyone plays has been great. We’re making memories.

“It’s very cool. Suzann Pettersen, Catriona Matthew and a few of the other players were out on the course today and came over to say hi. That was pretty cool.

“Just being with the team and knowing you all deserve to be here – it’s almost like a reward for playing well this season. It’s brilliant.”

Darling has been paired with England’s Annabell Fuller for the opening foursomes session, taking on Sadie Englemann and Lucy Li in the second of six matches.

They are followed by six fourball games in the afternoon, before the contest concludes with 12 singles clashes tomorrow.

Meanwhile, European captain Catriona Matthew was hit by an early hitch for the senior version later in the week after one of her players arrived in Scotland without a set of clubs.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff tweeted that her clubs were not on the same flight, meaning she was unable to practice fully with her team-mates.