Sorenstam named European captain for 2017 Solheim Cup

Annika Sorenstam and Juli Inkster, shown at the 2015 Solheim Cup
Annika Sorenstam and Juli Inkster, shown at the 2015 Solheim Cup ( Getty Images )

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Annika Sorenstam will captain the 2017 Solheim Cup team, the Ladies European Tour announced Wednesday at the ANA Inspiration.

Sorenstam was long expected to be the choice to captain the Europeans in Des Moines, Iowa, as she expressed interest and said she put her name in that hat for the captaincy in February.

"If I look back in my career, the Solheim Cup has always been an important part of it" Sorenstam said. "We play as individuals for 99% of the time, but when we do get together it's just something special. So a lot of my memories in my career go back to the Solheim Cup. So when I started playing, I was hoping that I would continue to be involved and getting a chance to be a vice-captain was really eye opening. But I thought one day when I'm ready I would love to get this opportunity, and I felt like 2017 I would be ready."

Sorenstam is tied with Laura Davis as with the most European victories in Solheim Cup history, having won 22 matches.

Juli Inkster was announced as the U.S. captain for the Solheim Cup early this year. Inkster led the U.S. to a thrilling 14.5-13.5 victory over the Europeans in 2015 when Europe was captained by Carin Koch.

Sorenstam served as Koch’s vice captain in 2015, and in 2013 when Liselotte Neumann was captain. She also was an assistant in 2011.

"I learned a lot" said of being an assistant captain. "First, I would say as a player you go in there and play, you really don't think about what happens behind the scene. But being the vice-captain I saw the hard work they put in. The two years of preparation, and it's so much more than just thinking about who is going to play with whom, etc."

"So I really respect the captains. I really respect what they did. I think that's when I realized I wasn't ready for the job. You need to fully commit. You really need to get involved and get to know the players. So I saw it from the sideline. But then also I was intrigued by the opportunity, and I said I would love to do this day when I'm ready."

Sorenstam, 45, a Swede who makes her home in Orlando, Fla., played in every Solheim Cup from 1994 to 2007.

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