Yealimi Noh has year's worst round at just the wrong time

Tour rookie Yealimi Noh named to 2021 U.S. Solheim Cup Team

Yealimi Noh has year's worst round at just the wrong time
Yealimi Noh

USA Captain Pat Hurst has selected Concord’s Yealimi Noh, Brittany Altomare and Mina Harigae as her captain’s picks to represent Team USA at the prestigious 2021 Solheim Cup on Labor Day weekend of Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Altomare will make her second appearance for Team USA at the biennial Solheim Cup pitting America’s best golfers against their European counterparts. Harigae and Noh will make their Solheim Cup debuts.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but I’m very happy to have Brittany, Mina and Yealimi as my picks for Team USA,” said Hurst. “Brittany proved that she’s the ultimate team player in 2019 and really came through for us at Gleneagles. Mina and Yealimi have played so well over the last two years, and just because they’re Solheim Cup rookies on paper doesn’t mean they’re rookies inside the ropes. I have no doubt they’ll be great competitors at Inverness.”

These three players join the nine automatic qualifiers for Team USA who were named following the completion of play at the AIG Women’s Open. World No. 1 and Tokyo gold medalist Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Megan Khang qualified off the USA Solheim Cup Team Standings, while Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho qualified off the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Back in international spotlight

Noh has had one other experience of international team play when she was part of the winning USA Junior Ryder Cup team in September 2018 in France. Later that year she decided to forego a UCLA golf scholarship and turn pro.

She earned her LPGA Tour card placing third at the grueling Q-Series tournaments in late 2019 and was a rookie in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season when she narrowly missed winning two tournaments. Because of the abbreviated schedule last year, the LPGA designated Noh and her fellow class of 2020 golfers as rookies again during 2021.

The former Carondelet High School student had a difficult start in her first 10 LPGA tournament his year when she twice missed the cut and six times finished in 33rd place or lower. A tie for 13th was her best performance. Since her tie for 64th at the US Open in San Francisco and then missing the cut the following week again in the Bay Area, the Concord native has been on a roll.

Starting with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on the last weekend of June, the 20-year-old Noh has won over a half million dollars in prize money with two third-place finishes as well as a 7th, 13th, 14th and 15th. She passed the $1 million mark in rookie tour earnings last weekend in Scotland at the AIG Women’s Open, the year’s final major where she tied for 13th after briefly flirting with the lead Saturday afternoon.  

Her strong play in the past two months has raised her Rolex World Golf Ranking to 31st overall and as the ninth ranked American. She is 32nd in the Race to CME Globe competition.

Solheim Cup coaching staff

Additionally, Hurst has selected Stacy Lewis as the third assistant captain for Team USA. She joins the previously announced Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie West. Lewis is a 13-time LPGA Tour winner and has represented the USA on four Solheim Cup Teams (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). She was named to the team in 2019 but served as an unofficial assistant captain after withdrawing from competition due to injury.

The biennial Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. In 2019, Team Europe earned a 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles in Scotland, a breathtaking win that saw Suzann Pettersen knock in the winning putt on the final hole of the final match. Team USA leads Team Europe, 10-6, all-time in Solheim Cup competition.

The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country and continent. This biennial international match-play competition features the best U.S. players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour and the best European players from the Ladies European Tour.

The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for the Solheim Cup. Today, the Global Partners of the Solheim Cup are PING, Rolex and Marathon Petroleum.

Inverness Club in Toledo has forged a place of distinction in professional golf. Opening in 1903, the historic club has been the site of 12 championships, including four U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships. Byron Nelson, who served as head golf professional from 1940-44, recognized Inverness Club as his home course. S.P. Jermain, their first Board President, was credited with conceiving the idea of the Ryder Cup. The championship course was designed by the renowned architect Donald Ross.

For more information visit the tournament website.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.