(Sunningdale, England – Wednesday 30th July 2008) -- Carin Koch has been selected by the Solheim Family and the Ladies European Tour to captain the 2009 European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team, the international team match play event to be played at Aurora Country Club in Aurora, Ill, USA, next year.
Koch, who represented Europe in The Solheim Cup four times as a player, will lead the 12 best female European players aged 12-18 against their American counterparts in the biennial tournament. Nancy Lopez will captain the United States’ side.
“I’m excited to be named European Junior Solheim Cup captain but of course I really want to be on The European Solheim Cup Team and that is my first priority,” said Koch, from Sweden.
“The PING Junior Solheim Cup is a wonderful opportunity for girls to see what it can be like to play on a team at an early age. I played for the Swedish National Team when I was younger, but the PING Junior Solheim Cup experience is just a lot bigger. It is important to me that the girls have a great time during the week and see what could be ahead for them: The Solheim Cup... if they want it badly enough.”
As a player in The Solheim Cup, Koch scored 11.5 points and sank the winning putt for Europe at Loch Lomond in 2000. A 17-year member of the Ladies European Tour and a 14-year member of the LPGA, she has earned three victories around the world with one in Europe and two in America.
"We at PING and the Solheim family are very excited that Carin will be the Captain of the European team for the 2009 PING Junior Solheim Cup team," said John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING, Inc. "We know Carin to be not just a great player and competitor, but also a wonderful person as well. Carin will motivate the team to play well, and also help them experience all there is associated with the PING Junior Solheim Cup and the Solheim Cup. Carin will help this become a very special event for the girls."
Alexandra Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour, added: “We are delighted to have Carin20captain the 2009 European PING Junior Solheim Cup team. With her vast competitive experience she will be an insprational leader to the next generation of European golf stars. Fans of women’s golf would be well advised to pay a visit to this tournament as they will have a rare chance to see what the future of women’s professional golf has to offer.”
In its short history, the PING Junior Solheim Cup has already had a major impact on the careers of some of the greatest names in women’s golf today. Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, Louise Stahle, Minea Blomqvist and Henrietta Zuel all participated before turning professional.
The 2009 event will mark the fifth PING Junior Solheim Cup. Currently both sides h ave claimed two victories each, with the home side winning on all four previous occasions.
The event will be staged ahead of The 2009 Solheim Cup, the most prestigious event in women’s professional golf, which is named in honour of Karsten Solheim and his family, the founders of PING golf equipment.
The Solheim Cup is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best European players from the Ladies European Tour and the best American-born players from the LPGA.
The U.S. Team leads the competition 7-3 and has never lost on home soil. The 2009 Solheim Cup will be played Aug. 17-23, 2009 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, USA.
photos Janos Schmidt