Marks the first time the U.S. team will repeat leadership since 2002-2003
The quartet has a combined 89 LPGA victories and 18 years of Solheim Cup playing experience
U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain Juli Inkster announced today that Pat Hurst, Wendy Ward and Nancy Lopez will return as assistant captains in 2017. The U.S. will try to defend the Cup on home soil after a historic win in Germany last year when the Americans orchestrated the biggest come-from-behind victory in the event’s history. The 15th staging of the event will be held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, August 18-20.
The combination of Inkster, Hurst, Ward and Lopez will mark the first time the U.S. Team will have the same coaching staff in back-to-back Solheim Cups since 2002-2003 when Captain Patty Sheehan returned with Assistant Captain Jane Geddes.
“I’m thrilled that we are able to bring back our entire staff from the Solheim Cup win in 2015,” Inkster said. “Pat, Wendy and Nancy bring a wealth of experience both as leaders and players in this event and will once again be magnificent resources to our entire squad. We are looking forward to the opportunity to repeat as champions and win on American soil.”
Hurst compiled a 10-7-3 overall record and earned 11.5 points in five career Solheim Cup appearances and was a member of a winning Team USA squad four times (1998, 2002, 2005, 2007). The 1989 NCAA Individual National Champion out of San Jose State University won six times in her career on the LPGA, including one major (1998 Nabisco Dinah Shore) and had over $7 million in career earnings.
Ward is a three-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member and helped the Americans earn victories in 2002 and 2005. The San Antonio native posted a 2-8-1 record and earned 2.5 points in her career for Team USA. Ward owns four career LPGA wins and recorded 50 top-10 finishes while making nearly $5 million in her career.
Lopez ranks seventh all-time with 48 career LPGA victories, including three major titles, and was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1987. The three-time Vare Trophy winner compiled two points and a 2-1-0 record in her lone Solheim Cup appearance as a player on the winning United States team in 1990. She went on to lead the Americans to victory as Captain of Team USA in 2005.
The top-10 in the current standings for U.S. Solheim Cup Points as of Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
Rank Player Points Rank Player Points
1 Lexi Thompson 334 6 Cristie Kerr 110
2 Stacy Lewis 277 7 Mo Martin 106
3 Gerina Piller 231 8 Angela Stanford 98
4 Brittany Lang 180 9 Alison Lee 77
5 Jessica Korda 127 10 Sydnee Michaels 75
*Qualification for the 2017 U.S. Solheim Cup team began at the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and will end at a tournament (TBD) on the 2017 LPGA Tour schedule.
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 the sport have happened during past Solheim Cups, and berths on the U.S. and European teams are highly sought-after by players from both organizations.
The 2017 Solheim Cup will take place August 18-20 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, site of the 1999 U.S. Senior Open Championship. The United States Team enters the competition holding the Cup and will need 14 points to retain it, with the European Team needing 14½ points to regain the coveted Waterford Crystal prize. The U.S. squad holds an 9-5 lead in the series, which began in 1990, and is looking to repeat as champions for the first time since winning three titles in a row from 2005-2009. LPGA Hall-of-Famers lead both sides as seven-time major champion and nine-time Solheim Cup player Juli Inkster is captain of the U.S. Team while 10-time major champion and eight-time Solheim Cup player Annika Sorenstam of Sweden will lead the European squad.