England girl international Kelly Tidy has been selected for the European PING Junior Solheim Cup team for the 2009 matches against the United States at Aurora GC, Illinois, on August 18-19.
Kelly, 17, (pictured) has already played in Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup team. She reached the last 16 at the recent British championship and is a GB&I reserve for this month’s Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe. She has twice been runner-up in the British girls’ championship.
The Royal Birkdale player was a wild card selection by Carin Koch, the European Junior Solheim Cup captain and she will join 11 other players in the team. They include the talented 14-year-old Maguire twins, Lisa and Leona, who formed half of the four-strong Irish team that won the recent European Girls’ Team championships at Kokkola, Finland.
The United States team will be announced on July 20 by US Team Captain Nancy Lopez.
European captain Carin Koch commented: "There are ten nationalities in the European team and it means that golf is getting more and more popular, with more countries represented. The PING Junior Solheim Cup is a great golf event to take part in and I am really looking forward to sharing my experience with the juniors.
“They will learn so much by being on site and from playing in the matches but also by watching The Solheim Cup. It is also important to have fun. It will create a good atmosphere which is important in a team competition. It is rare that we play competitions like this and so the juniors should take this opportunity to have a great time.
“I will also learn a lot from being the captain for the European team because it is something new for me and I am looking forward to this new challenge."
The PING Junior S olheim Cup was founded by Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, makers of PING equipment, to give junior golfers experience and to prepare them for their future golf careers. The event is always played prior to The Solheim Cup, which this year takes place at Rich Harvest Farms from August 21-23.
John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING, Inc., commented: “It is really neat to see so many European countries represented by these talented young ladies. This is a perfect testament to how much the game has grown all over Europe. The Solheim family and PING are very excited to be a part of what will be a very special PING Junior Solheim Cup."
The PING Junior Solheim Cup is the only girl’s team event of its kind at a junior level. Participants must be aged between12-18 and must not have reached their 18th birthday prior to January 1, 2009. Participants must be amateurs and must not be members of a collegiate golf programme in order to be eligible to play in the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
The event features teams of 12 players from Europe and the USA, playing a two-day match play competition of six four-ball, six foursomes and 12 singles.
The 2009 European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team:
1. Leona Maguire, Ireland
2. Klara Spilkova, Czech Republic
3. Ana Fernandez de Mesa, Spain
4. Johanna Tillström, Sweden
5. Anna Arese, Spain
6. Tonje Daffinrud, Norway
1. Sherlyn Popelka, Switzerland
2. Sophia Popov, Germany
3. Lisa Maguire, Ireland
4. Rosanna Crepiat, France
5. Sally Watson, Scotland
6. Kelly Tidy, England
– but the sailors praise the new boats