26-year-old Jessica will be making her second appearance for Team USA, while Nelly, 21, will be making her debut. The sisters from Florida could also become the first siblings in Solheim Cup history to be paired together in the fourball or foursomes.
America will be defending the title they won in 2017 when they beat Europe by five points at Des Moines Golf & Country Club, while Team Europe are aiming to avoid a third straight defeat in the event.
Since the tournament’s inception in 1990, 114 players have represented the USA and Europe teams. Only two have been siblings, Sweden‘s Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam – and they were never paired together at Muirfield Village in 1998.
The pairings have yet to be announced, but USA captain Juli Inkster dropped a hint saying “it would be cool for the game of golf to see those two play together”.
Both sisters are excited by the prospect. Nelly said: “Whenever you make history it’s a special feeling. It was kind of our goal after 2017 that we were both going to make it.”
Jessica added: “We’re really excited to be paired together. There’s no one who knows my game better. She can calm me down and I can calm her down. It’ll be the yin to the yang.”
Pairing the sisters together was trialled successfully in July at the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational team event where they tied 12thand carded an impressive final round 62 in the fourballs – a good omen for the upcoming Solheim Cup.
“We both have a really consistent and similar game. I think we figured out a really good way together,” Nelly said.
Both have won LPGA Tour events making them only the third sisters in history to do so, along with the Thai Jutanugarn sisters, Moriya and Ariya, and the Sorenstams. Both have won the Australian Open, Jessica in 2012 and Nelly this year, keeping up a family tradition after their dad, Petr, won the Australian Open tennis championship in 1998.
Jessica has five wins on the LPGA Tour, most recently at the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand, and has recorded seven top-10 finishes in the majors. Currently ranked 18 in the world, injury forced her to pull out of the Solheim Cup in 2017.
World number 10 Nelly ensured her place on the team after finishing this season as the second highest American on the Rolex points list behind Solheim teammate Lexi Thompson.
Ominously for Europe, the sisters prefer to eschew sibling rivalry for sisterly support. “No wager,” Jessica replied when asked if they had bet on who would win their first major. “I think we will both celebrate it as if it was our own.”
They’ve come along way from the time Jessica caddied for Nelly when she was 10 and yanked a club out of her hand and threw another in her direction for her to use.
“I think a simple quote describes our relationship,” Nelly said. “Sisters by blood, best friends by choice.”