GLENEAGLES, Scotland • The United States was forced into a change three days before the start of the Solheim Cup after veteran Stacy Lewis pulled out because of a back injury.
U.S. captain Juli Inkster replaced Lewis with Ally McDonald (Fulton, Mississippi State), who will make her debut in the team event against Europe.
“I’m sorry it happened this way, but I came prepared to be either a cheerleader or team member,” said McDonald, who arrived in Scotland on Sunday as the first alternate. “I hope Stacy gets better soon, but I’m excited to be part of the team.”
McDonald, who finished ninth in the LPGA’s season-long Solheim Cup points chase, will be one of six first-timers on the 12-member U.S. squad.
One of Inkster’s two captain’s picks, Lewis is a former No. 1 in the world rankings and a two-time major champ. She would have been playing in her fifth Solheim Cup.
Lewis said her back injury flared up last week, and she decided to withdraw “in the best interest of the team.”
After Lewis warned Inkster last Thursday that she was having back issues, the team captain quickly summoned McDonald from the U.S.
Speaking on Tuesday from Gleneagles, where the Solheim Cup will be played, Inkster said Lewis will stay with the team and “will still be an incredible asset to our crew.”
The Americans are defending the cup in Scotland and will be seeking a third-consecutive victory.