Carin Koch has been appointed as the Captain of the European Solheim Cup team that will attempt to secure a third straight victory against the United States of America in the 2015 match at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany, the Ladies European Tour announced today.
The Swede will attempt to retain the trophy after Europe’s emphatic 18-10 victory at Colorado Golf Club in 2013, when Europe earned an historic first win in the United States.
After consecutive European successes in 2011 at Killeen Castle and in 2013 in Colorado, Koch will seek to complete an unprecedented hat-trick of wins when the matches take place on September 18-20, 2015.
“I am extremely delighted and honoured to captain the 2015 Solheim Cup team,” said Koch. “Being vice-captain to Lotta (Neumann) in 2013 I once again experienced the thrill of The Solheim Cup matches which are unlike any other tournament in professional golf. I cannot wait to stand with the team on the first tee next September to start our quest for the hat-trick of wins against the US team. I look forward to working with the German team at Golf Club St.Leon-Rot for the next year and a half to put on the best Solheim Cup ever!”
Koch played in four successive Solheim Cup matches between 2000 and 2005, earning 11 ½ points with a 10-3-3 win-loss-draw record and was instrumental in Europe’s 2000 victory, holing the winning putt at Loch Lomond in Scotland. She was also a member of the victorious team that won at Barsebäck G&CC on her home soil in Sweden in 2003.
After twice playing on the winning side, Koch was also part of the 2013 victory as a vice-captain to Liselotte Neumann when Europe successfully retained The Cup for the first time last August.
In addition to her Solheim Cup successes, Koch captained the European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team in Illinois in 2009 and has three international tournament victories: the 2000 Chrysler Open, 2001 LPGA Corning Classic and 2005 Corona Morelia Championship. She also won the 2000 TSN Ladies World Cup of Golf, which was a team event on the Ladies European Tour.
“I’m very pleased Carin Koch has been chosen as captain of the 2015 European Solheim Cup team,” said John Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Her experience as a player speaks for itself, having won several times around the world. She’s been a standout on four Solheim Cup teams while compiling a 10-3-3 record. I’ll always remember her jubilant reaction after making the Cup-clinching putt at Loch Lomond in 2000. It captured the spirit of what the event is all about. She’ll be a tremendous leader as the European team seeks its third straight Solheim Cup victory.”
Ladies European Tour chief executive officer Ivan Khodabakhsh congratulated Koch on her appointment. “We are delighted that Carin has accepted the invitation to lead the European Solheim Cup team as she is a fantastic representative of European golf and her passion and experience of the event will transfer to her being an excellent and inspiring Captain. The next edition at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot is going to be very special and we are all working hard to deliver the biggest and best ever Solheim Cup in Germany in 2015.”
Koch wasted little time in naming one of her vice-captains. At a press conference in Frankfurt, she announced that she has chosen her long-time friend and former European Solheim Cup teammate, Annika Sorenstam, to help lead the team in Germany.
Sorenstam and Koch were successful foursomes and four-ball partners in The 2002 Solheim Cup and also won their foursomes match together in 2003.
Sorenstam, the former World No.1, with 89 worldwide career victories including 10 major championships, was an eight-time Solheim Cup player and has been a vice-captain in the last two successful Solheim Cup campaigns for Europe.
As well as being a vice-captain at Killeen Castle in 2011, Sorenstam worked together with Koch as a vice-captain under Liselotte Neumann for the 2013 match in Colorado which resulted in Europe’s first back-to-back victory and first win on US soil.
About The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country. This biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition features the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the sponsor for The Solheim Cup, professional golf’s international match-play competition for women. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The Solheim Cup is the most highly coveted trophy in women’s professional golf team competition; some of the most memorable moments in women’s golf have happened during Solheim Cups, and berths on the U.S. and European teams are highly coveted by players from both organisations.
The 2015 Solheim Cup will take place at Golf Course St. Leon-Rot in Germany. The European Team enters the competition holding the Cup and will need 14 points to retain it, with the U.S. Team needing 14½ points to regain the coveted Waterford Crystal prize. The U.S. squad holds an 8-5 lead in the series, which began in 1990.
In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include Rolex, SAP and Allianz. For more information about The Solheim Cup and updated standings for each team, log on to www.solheimcup.com, www.lpga.com and www.solheimcupeurope.com.
About Golf Club St. Leon-Rot
The club, founded in 1996, has two 18-hole championship courses which have both already been venues for the Deutsche Bank SAP Open, a professional tournament on the PGA European Tour. Tiger Woods won the tournament in 1999, 2001 and 2002. The two courses, ‘St. Leon’ and ‘Rot’, have both received multiple accolades from the specialist press. The Rot championship course, for example, won the sought-after Golf Journal Travel Award nine times in a row up to 2010, as ‘Germany’s most popular golf course’. In 2011 and 2012 the award went to the St. Leon course. A key role in St. Leon-Rot’s rise to become one of Germany’s best golf clubs is played by club president Dietmar Hopp, a co-founder of the Walldorf software corporation SAP.