Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar pictured with Shaun Quinn, CEO, Failte Ireland and Alison Nicholas, European Solheim Cup Captain at the Royal College of Physicians, marking a significant milestone with 150 days to go to The 2011 Solheim Cup which will be staged in Killeen Castle, County Meath, this September 23-25.

Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, along with representatives from Fáilte Ireland and the Ladies European Golf Tour, has marked a significant milestone with ‘150 days to go’ to The 2011 Solheim Cup which will be staged in Killeen Castle, County Meath, this coming September. The professional ladies golf event between Europe and the USA is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf and one of the biggest international sporting events to be staged in Ireland this year. The staging of the event is set to be worth a projected benefit of just under €35 million to the Irish economy, as well as the Meath area, providing a welcome boost for the tourism sector.

Speaking at the event Minister Varadkar said: “The 2011 Solheim Cup is the kind of show-piece event that can help to regenerate the Irish economy. It will create jobs, generate revenue, promote Ireland as a tourism destination and provide us with an opportunity to present our country in a positive light. Ireland has a proven track record in hosting high-profile international events and the Irish public is renowned for attending and supporting these events.”

Along with the tens of thousands of spectators, up to 500 international media are expected to descend on Killeen Castle in an event that will provide Ireland with phenomenal global exposure, including television coverage to over 400 million homes worldwide.

The 2011 Solheim Cup will take place on the stunning Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Killeen Castle, County Meath, from 23-25 September this year and Solheim Cup Director, Roddy Carr announced that over 14,000 tickets have been issued to date. At this stage over 70% of the available accommodation in Meath has been booked during the event according to Meath Tourism and over 2,500 room nights in Dublin have been booked for the event. 

Carr commented: “This is the pinnacle of ladies professional golf and some of the biggest names in the women’s game will be playing in Killeen Castle from Michelle Wie to Laura Davies. We expect large scale support from the Irish along with a strong European and American contingent travelling to the country. The atmosphere at the event in Meath will be like no other event on the tour and a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this event on home soil.”

Speaking on the awarding of The 2011 Solheim Cup to Ireland, Executive Director of the Ladies European Tour, Alexandra Armas, highlighted; “Ireland was awarded The 2011 Solheim Cup over four years ago, defeating stiff opposition from five other nations. The country’s long heritage, love of the sport and the quality of the venue, Killeen Castle, were all key factors in the decision. I have no doubt Ireland will provide the perfect showcase for this event.”

European Solheim Cup Captain, Alison Nicholas was also present, outlining the success of The Solheim Cup Club Ambassador Programme, a recruitment drive currently being undertaken in clubs throughout the country. 155 club ambassadors have already signed up for the programme which aims to secure key representatives in golf clubs nationwide with the dual goal of generating large scale spectator support from Irish club golfers and creating a dynamic bond between spectators and the European team in advance of the event.

Nicholas commented: “We are currently staging coaching clinics in clubs throughout the country aiming to create as much support as possible when it comes to the event. The Americans will provide a very strong challenge and we are relying on as much European and home support as possible to help us regain the coveted Solheim Cup this year in Killeen Castle. The Irish public can be our 13th member of the team and play a pivotal role.”

The European team will comprise the top four players from the European points’ list, the next highest four from the Rolex World Rankings and four captain’s picks, so at present, the European team status is outlined below, with little change expected until after the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open (ending Sunday 8th May). 

Top four from European points’ standings:





Laura Davies (England)



Melissa Reid (England)



Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (France)



Iben Tinning (Denmark)


The next four from the Rolex Rankings are made up of Suzann Pettersen (Norway), Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Maria Hjorth (Sweden) and Catriona Matthew (Scotland). Ireland’s Rebecca Codd is lying in joint 19th on the current European Solheim Cup standing so the Carlow professional would need to win a few events to qualify.

The USA team will include the top 10 players from the points system along with two captain’s selections:





Cristie Kerr



Morgan Pressel



Michelle Wie



Angela Stanford              



Paula Creamer



Brittany Lincicome



Brittany Lang



Stacy Lewis



Christina Kim



Kristy McPherson



Nicholas added; “Both teams are starting to take shape and look set to contain a mixture of experience and emerging talent. The Americans are an extremely difficult team to beat and their record of eight Solheim wins to Europe’s three illustrates this. Historically they have proved strongest in the closing singles pairing but I feel confident on home soil that we will be extremely well equipped for the Sunday singles and regain the trophy.”

For the latest information on The Solheim Cup visit

From left: Alexandra Armas, Executive Director, Ladies European Tour, Alison Nicholas, European Solheim Cup Captain and Roddy Carr, Twenty Eleven, at the Royal College of Physicians, marking a significant milestone with 150 days to go to The 2011 Solheim Cup which will be staged in Killeen Castle, County Meath, this September 23-25.