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Odds are, she would have been making the trip to the Denver area this week either way.

“I told Meg, she needs to be a pick” if she doesn’t qualify through her ranking, said Brittany Lincicome, also making her fourth Solheim Cup appearance. “Solheim would not be the same without Morgan here.”

Asked what she brings to the U.S. team, which is trying to stay undefeated in matches played in the United States, Pressel modestly replied: “Hair ribbons and tattoos,” speaking to her unofficial role as the team’s red-white-and-blue coordinator.

But she is more than that, and the 4-0 record from last time says it all.

Match play is a different animal from the usual stroke-play events that dominate the schedule. The first two days, which feature alternate-shot and best ball, add an even greater sense of team to the proceedings.

“I think I’m an easygoing person,” Pressel said. “I feel like I can play with anybody. I have a versatile game in that sense where I hit it down the middle and it’s not going to go as far as some of the other girls, but I can keep it in play and sometimes that’s important.”

Back in 2005, Pressel hit her final drive straight and was sitting comfortably in the middle of the fairway, waiting for the group in front of her to clear the green. Kim was in that group up ahead, tied with Pressel. Not a single player had made a birdie that day on the uphill, 459-yard par-4 at Cherry Hills. When Kim’s ball went in, Pressel looked behind her, put her hands on her head in dismay and smiled.

Still in tears more than 30 minutes after the last shot, she conceded she wasn’t great at masking her emotions: “I try. But I don’t hide them well, as you can see.”

Almost a decade later, Pressel is one of the most consistent presences in American golf _ winner of more than $5 million since she went pro later in 2005, and with 46 top-10 finishes. There’s also that remarkable Solheim Cup record, which includes a 3-0 mark in Sunday singles.

As for the one that got away that day at Cherry Hills _ well, she doesn’t really look at it that way.

“There’s luck with everything,” she said. “Better to be lucky than good. Isn’t that one of the oldest sayings in the book?”