(Photo credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)
Lexi Thompson is gearing up for her sixth Solheim Cup, so she's seen a thing or two in the U.S. vs. Europe team event.
The latest installment of the Solheim Cup begins Friday at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Andalucia, Spain. If the Americans are going to wrest the trophy back for the first time since 2017, Thompson believes the key will be tuning out the noise from the European crowd.
Thompson was asked for the advice she's giving to the U.S. team's five Solheim Cup rookies.
"I would honestly just say focus on yourself and your game," Thompson told LPGA.com. "Going to another country, it's a whole different thing. We're going to hear their chants, not ours and hopefully not hear boos. But it's just a matter of focusing on your game and blocking out all the noise and just focusing on what you can control out there because the first tee experience is like no other.
"... But they have nerves of steel. They have no problem. I think (it's just) a matter of being there as a teammate and partner whoever I have on my side in matches. That's all you need."
The American Solheim Cup debutants are Allisen Corpuz, Cheyenne Knight, Andrea Lee, Lilia Vu and Rose Zhang. Corpuz and Vu combined to win three majors this season, while Zhang took the LPGA by storm by winning in her professional debut.
The U.S. last won a Solheim Cup on European turf in 2015, a one-point victory in Germany. The team will have to cope with not just some boos from the crowd, but also a formidable opponent with rising stars such as France's Celine Boutier and Ireland's Leona Maguire.
"We want to represent our country the best that we can and of course winning the Solheim Cup is a huge deal for us," Thompson said. "But we have to go into the week and have that hunger and we know that they're gonna bring their A games and we have to bring our A-plus game. We have to be ready for it and every challenge that we're faced (with) and just do all we can."
For Thompson's part, she had to grind to make sure she was part of the team at all.
It was not her most successful season on tour -- she remains winless since June 2019 -- but she qualified for the team thanks to her standing in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
Thompson dubbed the Solheim Cup her "favorite event of all time," so she had to keep her streak of appearances going.
"Knowing that it was this year, it was like, 'Alright, I have to make that team. I gotta make that team. I gotta do whatever it takes,'" Thompson said. "There's just nothing like it. To be able to be part of a team and to be able to wake up, put your country's colors on.
"We do not hear as many cheers over there. Hopefully, we get a lot of people on our side over there. But there's nothing like representing your country and just to be part of a team as well. It's so much fun, intense, but there's absolutely nothing like it."
--Field Level Media