WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, September 23, 2013 – The most exciting event in women’s professional golf is returning to the Midwest in 2017, LPGA tournament officials announced today. Des Moines Golf and Country Club, home of the 1999 U.S. Senior Open Championship which drew a record 252,800 spectators, will host the 15th playing of The Solheim Cup, matching the best players from the United States against the best from Europe.
Des Moines Golf and Country Club will be the first 36-hole facility in the United States to host The Solheim Cup, allowing the PING Junior Solheim Cup to be held at the same venue. The PING Junior Solheim Cup, patterned after The Solheim Cup, features the top 12 girls from the United States against those from Europe.
Tournament officials today also announced DuPont, a company dedicated to bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace since 1802, as the third global partner for the 2017 Solheim Cup alongside PING and Rolex.
Making the announcement today in Des Moines were U.S. Solheim Cup Team stars Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson, PING Chairman and CEO John Solheim, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, DuPont Pioneer President Paul Schickler, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, who joined forces in a Solheim Cup “first tee” experience for local supporters, media, club membership and fans.
“We are very excited to be heading to the Des Moines Golf and Country Club for the 2017 Solheim Cup,” said Whan. “The support that the Des Moines community has shown for golf events in the area has been tremendous. Based on the incredible welcome that we’ve already seen from the city, state, and local organizers, I have no doubt that the 2017 Solheim Cup is already on track to be the best event we’ve ever staged.
He continued, “From the very first time we met the Des Moines Golf and Country Club leaders, we realized that we were able to think big, rally the support of the community, and facilitate corporate and fan experiences that will take The Solheim Cup to a new level.”
“Playing in the Solheim Cup is one of the greatest experiences that you can have as a golfer,” said Lewis, a member of the 2011 and 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup teams. “The atmosphere and excitement that’s created by the fans is unlike any other event in golf and I can’t wait to see the amazing display put on by the great fans in Des Moines.”
Des Moines Golf and Country Club is the second Pete Dye-designed venue to host The Solheim Cup following the 2005 tournament at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana. Other Solheim Cup tournaments in the Midwest have included the 1998 event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, the 2002 event at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota and the 2009 event at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois – all won by the U.S. Team.
“The Board of Directors and Membership at Des Moines Golf and Country Club could not be more excited and ready to again showcase our wonderful facilities and Community with this event,” said Jeff Bodin, President of Des Moines Golf and Country Club. “We have a great history of excelling at everything we do and will see to it that we exceed the strong traditions of The Solheim Cup as we host it with honor in 2017.”
The U.S. leads Europe 8-5 all-time in Solheim Cup competition following an 18-10 loss to the Europeans in August at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. The European Team has won two consecutive Cups dating back to 2011 at Killeen Castle in Ireland. The European victory in Denver marked the first loss for the Americans on home soil.
“Bringing the Solheim Cup to Des Moines Golf and Country Club continues our tradition of matching this world-class event with a venue that shares PING’s passion for showcasing the best in team golf,” said John Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Their history of holding tournaments of this magnitude makes them an excellent choice to host the event. While four years away, we’re already looking forward to joining Iowa and the Des Moines community in the staging of the 15th Solheim Cup.”
DuPont continues to grow its investment and operations in Iowa through its agriculture and manufacturing facilities, and is excited to support the Solheim Cup in the state.
“Sport has the unique ability to bridge borders and cultures,” said Schickler. “As our lives continue to become more global, DuPont is proud to collaborate with organizations like the LPGA to create opportunities for us to learn from one another and generate shared experiences.”
Suku Radia, Tournament Chair stated, “Iowans are known for their love of golf, their generosity, their strong sense of community, their extraordinary work ethic and a genuine welcoming attitude – that is why we will host the best Solheim Cup ever.”
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 title 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 organizations.
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.