Marta Figueras-Dotti from Spain has been selected by Annika Sörenstam as a vice-captain for The 2017 European Solheim Cup Team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa.
The announcement was made during the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella.
Annika said: “I am very happy to have Marta join our team. She has a tremendous passion for golf and life and her positive energy is contagious. She's dedicated to growing the game and actively coaches around the world.”
Figueras-Dotti is the second European vice-captain to be named, joining Catriona Matthew. She has been involved in seven Solheim Cups, twice as the PING Junior Solheim Cup Team captain, in 2002 and 2003 and twice as the vice-captain, in 2005 and 2007. She was also a Solheim Cup team helper in 2009, 2013 and 2015 and was an instrumental part of Europe’s first away victory in Colorado in 2013.
“Annika and I have known each other for many years,” said the 58-year-old from Madrid, who counts the 1982 Women’s British Open among her numerous worldwide titles. “I have admired her for many years as a player and then as a leader in all her projects. When she asked me to be by her side as a vice-captain in the 2017 Solheim Cup I was truly speechless. I can’t tell you what it means to me to be able to share this incredible experience with such an amazing person as Annika. I feel honoured, excited and very touched. I so look forward to not only the event, but the months prior to it. I will help the team in any way Annika asks me to, but I think I have known the team for a few years now and the team spirit is essential for performance. I will support and help all of them in any way I can.”
Spain’s Athlete of the Year in 1977, Figueras-Dotti was also Athlete of the Year at USC in 1982, the year she won the Women’s British Open as an amateur at Royal Birkdale. Her six professional titles include two on each of the Ladies European Tour, Symetra Tour and LPGA Tour. She was also a founder of the Legends Tour in the USA.
She coached the Spanish national women’s team from 2001-2015 as well as several past and current players on the Ladies European Tour, LPGA and PGA Tour and was recently the captain of the women’s Spanish team for the Olympic Games at Rio 2016.
Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh said: “It is wonderful that Marta Figueras-Dotti will be a vice captain at the 2017 Solheim Cup when it takes place at Des Moines in Iowa next August. With Annika at the helm, assisted by Marta and Catriona, the European team is in excellent hands and we at the Ladies European Tour will do everything possible to ensure that next year’s match is a huge success.”
The 2017 Solheim Cup will be the 15th staging of the biennial, transatlantic team match play tournament, which features the best 12 European players from the Ladies European Tour and the best 12 players from the United States on the LPGA. The United States team leads the series 9-5, having won by a score of 14 ½ - 13 ½ at The 2015 Solheim Cup at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany, while in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club, the Europeans achieved an historic first away win by a record 18-10 margin.
For the 16th match, The 2019 Solheim Cup will be returning to Scotland, the Home of Golf and the scene of Europe’s first two victories, at Dalmahoy in 1993 and at Loch Lomond in 2000 respectively. The 2019 event will be played at the world famous PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Host Venue for the successful 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2018 European Championships
photos Janos Schmidt