Thursday, 31 March 2016

Sorenstam Named 2017 Solheim Captain

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Annika Sorenstam says she is going to have "fun" being European captain at the 2017 Solheim Cup.

Vice-captain when the United States regained the trophy last year in Germany, the 45-year-old Swede said: "I can not tell you how excited I am.

"I had hoped and dreamed that this opportunity would come along. This is really going to be a lot of fun."

Europe will attempt to win back the trophy at Des Moines Golf Club in Iowa next August.

Sorenstam played on two winning sides, at Loch Lomond in 2000 and at Barseback in 2003, and was also instrumental in two victories as a vice captain in 2011 and in 2013.

No player has won more matches for Europe than Sorenstam.

Her record of 22 victories is equalled by England's Laura Davies, who played in nine more matches than the Swede.

She and Dame Laura Davies hold the European record for Solheim Cup matches won, on 22, and Sorenstam also holds outright the record for foursomes points with 11 1/2.

Sorenstam was part of winning teams at Loch Lomond in 2000 and Barseback in 2003, where Swedish players celebrated a famous victory on home soil, and also as a vice-captain in 2011 at Killeen Castle and two years later in Colorado.

"I cannot tell you how excited I am," Sorenstam said as she was introduced as captain. "I have hoped and dreamed this opportunity would come along.

"If I look back at my career, the Solheim Cup has always been an important part of it. We play as individuals for 99 per cent of the time but when we do get together it's something special.

"A lot of the memories from my career go back to the Solheim Cup so when I stopped playing I was hoping I could continue to be involved, and getting the chance to be a vice-captain was really eye-opening.

"I thought 'one day, when I am ready' I would love to get this opportunity, and I thought by 2017 I would be ready. I had support from the tour and this is going to be a lot of fun - I'm looking forward to getting to work and engaging with the players.

"It's all about building memories and I think that is our goal."

Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh added: "We are extremely pleased to have Annika leading our team for the next Solheim Cup match in Iowa.

"When you think about her pedigree as the best player of our generation, her personal accomplishments and Solheim Cup experience, she has an exceptionally strong understanding of the attributes required to be an inspirational, respected and successful captain of the European Team." 

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