Amelia Lewis covets berth on U.S. Solheim Cup team

Amelia Lewis covets berth on U.S. Solheim Cup team

OCALA | Amelia Lewis has a few goals on her list for 2015, with her first LPGA Tour victory at the top.

But the Jacksonville native and Bolles graduate also yearns for a perk that comes with more success: her first spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, which will play Europe on Sept. 14-20 in Germany.

“Obviously I want to win but I really want to play on the Solheim Cup,” Lewis said on Tuesday at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club, the site of this week’s Coates Championship. “That’s been one of my dreams. I think I’d be able to make a contribution because I’m good at match play and there’s nothing that would be more important than playing for your country.”

Lewis enters the 2015 season 20th on the Solheim Cup points list. During a Solheim Cup year, points are awarded for the top-20 in each tournament, with 60 points for winning and three for 20th place, 1.5 times the points during an off-Solheim season.

Major championships are worth double.

The top-eight players in points automatically qualify. Two players are selected off the current Rolex Rankings and captain Juli Inkster gets two wild-card picks.

Inkster, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the all-time U.S. points leader, named Wendy Ward as an assistant captain, joining Pat Hurst. She also expects a volatile points race between this week’s Coates Championship, the opening tournament of the season, and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open Aug. 20-23.

“Looking at the points, it’s pretty solid the first six or seven, and than after it’s kind of a crapshoot,” she said on Tuesday. “It’s a long year and there’s a lot of tournaments and things can change.”

Lewis finished 66th on the money list last season with $212,578.

-Submitted by Garry Smits