Wednesday, April 9, 2014: The 2015 European Solheim Cup team captain will be announced on Friday, April 11 at 11am in Germany. Here we look back at the seven past European captains, from the beginning in 1990 up to the latest event in 2013.
The first edition of The Solheim Cup was in 1990, and the result was completely different from that of 2013. It was held in Florida and the US team defeated Europe 11.5 – 4.5. Apart from the result, there were many other differences between this first edition and what we witnessed in 2013 in Colorado. The first ever European captain Mickey Walker could not have imagined how this event would grow and how the Europeans would be able to beat the Americans with a record total score of 18-10, on their own US soil.
#1- Mickey Walker: 1 win- 3 losses; 1990-1996
England’s Mickey Walker was the first of seven exceptional players to date that have captained the European team and she held the role for the first four matches. Although the Europeans were beaten at Lake Nona in 1990, they fought back to win at Dalmahoy in Scotland in 1992. The Europeans defeated the Americans 11.5 – 6.5. The USA then took the 1994 and 1996 matches, at The Greenbrier in West Virginia and St. Pierre in Wales.
#2 Pia Nilsson: 1 loss; 1998
Sweden’s Pia Nilsson was the second European captain in 1998. The fifth Solheim Cup took place at Muirfield Village, Ohio. Pia had the opportunity to make history and repeat what the Ryder Cup´s captain Tony Jacklin achieved 11 years before in 1987 when he and his team defeated the Americans for the first time in US soil. However, the USA won once again, by a score of 16-12.
#3- Dale Reid: 1 win – 1 loss; 2000-2002
Scotland’s Dale Reid led Europe to its second victory, on her home soil at Loch Lomond in Scotland. The European team beat the USA 14.5-11.5. Dale was reappointed for the 2002 matches at Interlachen in Minnesota but could not repeat the team’s success as the US team took revenge and beat the Europeans for a fifth time.
#4 – Catrin Nilsmark: 1 win- 1 loss; 2003- 2005
The second Swedish captain, Catrin Nilsmark, took the reins in 2003 for the eighth match, at Barsebäck Golf & Country Club in Sweden. Despite struggling with a back injury, her European team thrashed the USA with a total score of 17.5 – 10.5, the highest margin of victory at that time. Unfortunately, Catrin was not able to repeat the team’s success two years later at Crooked Stick in Indiana when the USA won for a sixth time, taking the overall score to 6-3.
#5 Helen Alfredsson: 1 loss; 2007
In 2007, The Solheim Cup returned to Sweden, but to a new venue: Halmstad Golfklubb. A third Swedish captain, Helen Alfredsson, was selected, but the USA won for a seventh time with a score of 16-12.
#6- Alison Nicholas: 1 win, 1 loss, 2009-2011
In 2009, England’s Alison Nicholas MBE took the European team captaincy at Rich Harvest Farms, Illinois, but despite a spirited contest, the USA won the tie for an eighth time. Two years later in Ireland and Europe finally earned their fourth Cup win at Killeen Castle in Ireland, with a score of 15-13.
#7 Liselotte Neumann: 1 win; 2013
A fourth Swedish captain, Liselotte Neumann, took control for the 2013 matches at Colorado Golf Club in the USA. She took some gutsy decisions by selecting a young and inexperienced team, with five Solheim Cup rookies including the competition’s youngest ever competitor: 17-year- old Charley Hull. Her risky strategy paid off and the team was the perfect mix. Europe won for the first time in the United States, successfully retaining The Cup and their score of 18-10 was the largest margin of victory in the history of the competition. Caroline Hedwall scored five points out of five. The overall score is now 8-5.
? TBC: St. Leon-Rot, Germany 2015
There is still some work for Europe to do to even the overall score line but the next edition will be held in Europe, which is always an advantage. Sports fans are all wondering: which player has the skills and experience to carry the winning momentum and ensure a hat-trick of three straight European victories? Who is going to be the European captain at St. Leon-Rot, in Germany in 2015?
We will all know the answer at 11am German time on Friday, April 11… so stay tuned to find out!
List of past captains and records:
|1.||Mickey Walker from 1990 to 1996, 4 times. Result 1 win (1992) out of four contests|
|2.||Pia Nilsson, 1998, 0 wins|
|3.||Dale Reid 2000 and 2002, 1 win in 2000|
|4.||Catrin Nilsmark, 2003 and 2005, 1 win in 2003|
|5.||Helen Alfredsson 2007, 0 wins|
|6.||Alison Nicholas, 2009 and 2011, 1 win in 2011|
|7.||Liselotte Neumann, 2013, 1 win|
Results by country:
- England: 2 captains and 2 victories
- Scotland: 1 captain and 1 victory
- Sweden: 4 captains and 2 victories