Ryann O'Toole has played in just seven tournaments in her first season on the LPGA Tour, with two Top 10 finishes, but her moxie apparently impressed Rosie Jones, captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup team.
Jones made the 2009 graduate of UCLA one of her two picks for the team that will compete against Europe next month at Killeen Castle in Ireland.
Nine of the 10 players who qualified automatically in the points standings, which were compiled over the last two years, following Sunday's conclusion of the LPGA Safeway Classic competed on the winning U.S. team in 2009.
Jones then went ahead and selected Vicky Hurst, who was 11th in the points standings, and O'Toole, who finished 18th.
The top point getters, in order, were Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Juli Inkster and Christina Kim. Of this group, only Lewis did not play on the 2009 team.
Lincicome's standing was enhanced by her victory last June in the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Seaview.
O'Toole, who had just one year to compile Solheim Cup points as opposed to two years for the more experienced players, was picked ahead of the women who finished from 12th through 17th. Her best finishers were a tie for fifth in the Safeway Classic, and ninth at the U.S. Women's Open.
Even Jones called the selection a very wild pick."
According to the Associated Press, O'Toole said, "Rosie took a chance on me and that means more than I can explain. It means just as much as winning a tournament. To have someone go against what people might think and go out on a limb with a rookie ... she can see what I'm made of. She said she can see my moxie."
O'Toole is not the weakest link on the team. That honor might go to Kim, who has no Top 10 finishes in 2011, currently stands 58th on the money list and barely squeaked on to the team at No. 10.
O'Toole will look to duplicate the feat of another past Solheim Cup rookie. Michelle Wie withstood the pressure in 2009 to have a successful Solheim Cup and gain the immeasurable respect of her fellow players.