Who is Brittany Altomare?

Altomare takes Eighth Qualifying Spot for Solheim

A week or so ago, I announced that it was time for the Solheim Cup, or rather, “It’s Solheim Time!” I knew in that moment that I was a couple of weeks early, and even now, it’s a few days away, but maybe I thought I could make it come faster that way. At the same time, looking over the American team, I asked, if only to myself, “Who is Brittany Altomare?”

First of all, Altomare occupies the eighth and final spot after a lot of qualifying, and a lot of brain-wracking over the infinite number of choices.  Predicting who will play great golf is worse than herding cats. Eighth spot or not, Brittany Altomare is, according to one source, playing better golf than anyone else on the team. In recent times, she has three top fives, seven top thirteens, a bunch of top tens, and has made twenty-seven consecutive cuts.

Such statistics are not meant to indicate that Altomare has suddenly started playing well. She’s always done that. To start at the beginning, we should remind ourselves that the name is pronounced “Alto – MAR – ee.” It’s Italian, and if I remember correctly, “alto” means “above,” and “mare” means “sea.” The connotation, above the sea, or seagoing, Even if she takes a flight to Gleneagles in Scotland, it still fits, and she’s going places.
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A native of Worcester (Shrewsbury), Massachusetts, Altomare played against the men in high school. Getting no special favors, she played from the red tees like everyone else. Despite not being a long hitter. no one raised a stink about it until later, but the fuss died down when it became clear she would not leave the red tees. As a player who has become one of the better putters on tour, it is not difficult to see why she didn’t lose very often back then.  As a contrast to many northern golf hopefuls, she did not spend the winters flying south to the golf academies of Florida, but packed it all up for the cold months just like the rest of us. By 2006, she made the Junior Ryder Cup team, which ended up in a draw against Europe.  She excelled at the University of Virginia, and entered her rookie year in 2014.

Altomare’s  best weekly showing is a runner-up at the Evian, an LPGA major However, it is the statistic sheet showing all that consistency that seems like a winning recipe for the Solheim. I would much prefer to choose someone who contends on a regular basis, and a second or first doesn’t make much difference in the long haul. Twenty-seven consecutive cuts mean to me that for the equivalent of six or seven months, Altomare demonstrated her qualifications to be there, without one glitch.

One statistic I haven’t found much on is Brittany’s match play . The Solheim is a mix, including eight foursomes, eight four-balls, and twelves singles matches. The support Altomare receives from her golf community is gratifying. In addition to family, a group from her home course of the Worcester Country Club will cheer from the gallery. There’s no risk in such a trip. Win or lose, everyone gets a trip to Scotland.  Solheim will be held at the Centenary course this year, and no one from the American team has ever played it. Unlike many of the courses in the region, Centenary is not a links course, and may not require quite the adjustment of a more mainstream fairway course.

Brittany Altomare has dreamed of this for a long time, since nearly the beginning. There may be some butterflies in the beginning, but there’s a good chance Julie Inkster’s choice was a good one.

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