European Captain Nicholas ready for worst of weather at Solheim Cup

laura davies, alison nicholas
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Alison Nicholas (right) and veteran player Laura Davies wouldn't be upset if Ireland's unpredictable weather forced the Solheim Cup to bleed over to Monday.
PA Sport

Series: LPGA Tour

Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011 | 2:49 p.m.

Europe Captain Alison Nicholas is prepared for everything the Irish weather can throw at the Solheim Cup this weekend.

The teams' practice sessions at Killeen Castle have been conducted largely in wet conditions and the forecast for the three days of competition indicates there could be more rain on the way.

Last year's Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales was similarly affected and had to be extended to a four-day competition, something Nicholas would be content to see repeated.

"I think they have contingency plans because obviously that could have been a possibility," said Nicholas. "The weather forecast tends to change on a daily basis, so they'll be monitoring it. And if we have to go Monday, we'll have to go Monday."

Nicholas was reluctant to see possible bad weather as an advantage for her side, though.

"A lot of the players have played all over the world and are very experienced," she added. "It could be (an advantage) in some ways, but I know that I've played in bad weather over in America, and the Americans seem to adapt very, very well."

Nicholas played in the Solheim Cup six times and is captaining the side for the second successive contest, having led Europe to a 16-12 defeat in Chicago two years ago. That was a third loss in a row for Europe but, though the Americans will again be the favorites, Nicholas is confident her team, which contains five rookies, can rise to the occasion.

"They're up for it," she said. "They've lost the last three matches and they want to win the cup back just as the Americans want to win as well. They're all competitors. They're ready. Hopefully things go our way. I believe that we can bring the cup back and so do a lot of the girls."

Nicholas did not feel there was much else she could have done two years ago, but is hoping her extra experience can help Europe end their losing streak.

"I've done it before, so I know what to expect, and that helps," she added. "There are a few little bits and bobs that I didn't feel I did as well as I should have done. But, on the whole, I felt I did a reasonable job, unfortunately, we just fell short.

"We didn't hole enough putts, I don't think. But that's just the way it goes.

"The girls fought hard, and they played with their hearts, with passion, and I'm sure that they'll do the same this week. All we need is a little bit of luck and a few more putts to drop."

Nicholas' opposite number is eight-time Solheim Cup team member Rosie Jones, and she insisted there will be no complacency from her side.

"I think both teams are very strong," said Jones, who is making her debut as captain. "There is a lot of depth on both sides. Any time you're going overseas, you feel like you're at a disadvantage because of the crowds and the amount of fans the Europeans can have, and the momentum that the Europeans can gain from those crowds.

"But we're confident. We won here in 2007. We won here another time when I was on the team in 1996, and there is a possibility," she explained. "There is always that possibility. But we don't come in here, looking better on paper, assuming that we can win.

"We definitely know this is going to be a hard fight. Europe has probably one of the strongest teams they've had in a long time. We have a lot of respect for that," she added. "I have a lot of respect for Ali, and how she can captain the team, and I expect our players to fight very hard to get another win."