Last year in the inaugural PING Junior Solheim Cup, the USA won by a street with a 17-7 victory. But after two hard fought days at Bokskogens GC, the Europe junior team, captained by Helen Alfredsson, got their revenge and defeated the Americans with by a solitary point, 12½ to 11½.
After the opening days fourball and foursome matches, the European team stole a one point lead at 6½ to 5½ as they headed in to final day of 12 single-matches.
Jane Park from the USA and Maria Hernandez from Europe started the first match with the youngster from California prevailing 3&2.
Some feared that that was the first step to an American victory but Europe won the next three matches thanks to Adriana Zwank, Emma Cabrera and Louise Stahle.
Europe took command and the early success inspired the remainder of the team and even though USA won three consecutive matches it wasn’t enough.
Marianne Skarpnord, Caroline Westrup and Minea Blomqvist won their matches and a total of six single-matches was all that Europe needed to conquer the even the scores after two encounters either side of the Atlantic.
The Swedish star Louise Stahle, number one on the European amateur order-of-merit, played the fourball- and foursome-matches with Minea Blomqvist of Finland. It was the perfect couple, both left the event undefeated.
However the biggest key to success was Captain Alfredsson. She managed to create the right team spirit, as was expected from one of golf’s legendary characters.
“I have been very, very impressed with the girls,” commented Alfreddson.
“I don’t know the American team, but I’ve had so much fun. I think I just found my hang. This is going to be my group of people that I hang with because 16 years old fits my mentality quite nicely.”
“It was funny, 7:00 in the morning the thing is lit up as high as possible, Spanish music. And I go, okay, I’m 38 and these are 14 to 16. But it’s fun. This is how we used to do it. What I love about them is they have great personalities and love to have fun. And yet when they come out on the golf course, they’re very competitive. All these girls continue, if all these girls continue, it will be such a great future for women’s golf.”
“They’re great people. And obviously our Swedish girls, Louise Stahle is a fantastic player. Super mentality. It’s nice to have her on the team because all the girls really trusted her and her game. I think I had more fun. I just don’t have anybody to party with now. The 14 year olds, I really can’t do it on Diet Coke.”