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Killeen comes under the spotlight

European Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas threw out a challenge to the Irish players as they prepare for the AIB Ladies Irish Open.

Nicholas and rival captain Rosie Jones were at Killeen Castle yesterday in advance of this week's tournament on the course where the biennial Europe v USA match takes place in 2011.

Both captains are clearly relishing their role even though the big match is over a year away, but in terms of Irish hopes, Nicholas stressed that sentiment will have no place in her team.

The European skipper, whose team will hope to win the Cup for the first time since 2003, has four captain's picks and she won't give them away lightly.

"It would be great if an Irish player got into the team. There's over a year to go, but I've got to see some form.

"Hopefully they (the Irish players) will play well over the next year and that will obviously be an added bonus.

"But I've got to pick the best team. That's my job as captain," said Nicholas.

Jones is in charge of a team seeking a four-in-a-row, and she is greatly encouraged by Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr winning the US Women's Open and the LPGA Championship respectively.

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