King, a 29-year member of the LPGA Tour with 34 victories to her credit, was named captain by a five-member selection committee formed by the LPGA Board of Directors. Fellow LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Beth Daniel will serve as assistant captain of the 2007 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
“I am very honored to be named captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team,” said King. “I look forward to the preparation and competition over the next two years. When I called Beth, I told her that I consider her a co-captain rather than an assistant captain. Beth has a lot of Solheim Cup experience and will bring a lot to the team.
“The next two years will be very exciting as players vie for a spot on the team and I can’t wait to lead the U.S. Team to Sweden for the 2007 Solheim Cup.”
King’s participation on five U.S. Solheim Cup teams (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998) gives her the distinction of being the U.S. Team captain with the most Solheim Cup experience as well as the U.S. captain with the most points scored in Solheim competition (8).
Daniel has played in all but one Solheim Cup (1998) and has accumulated 13-1/2 points in eight appearances for the U.S. Team. Daniel and King were teammates four times, including the 1996 Solheim Cup when the U.S. Team became the first—and to this date only—team to win The Solheim Cup on foreign soil, a feat they will try to duplicate in Sweden next year.
“I am thrilled to have Betsy and Beth lead the U.S. Solheim Cup Team in 2007,” said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens. “Having two Hall of Famers who have had such successful careers along with a great amount of Solheim Cup experience should make them impeccable leaders. When you add the enthusiasm and competitive fire of European Solheim Cup Captain Helen Alfredsson, there is no doubt we’re in for an unprecedented show of skill, spirit and camaraderie at the 2007 event.”
The guidelines used by the committee include: previous Solheim Cup experience; number of years on the LPGA Tour; more than 40 years of age; and LPGA Tour career successes. The committee is comprised of Bivens; Heather Daly-Donofrio, president of the LPGA Tour Player Executive Committee; Rae Evans, chairwoman of the LPGA Board of Directors; and Nancy Lopez and Patty Sheehan, the two previous U.S. Solheim Cup Team captains.
King, who recorded her first victory in 1984, went on to accumulate 34 career victories, including six major championship titles, and more than $7.6 million in career earnings. She became the 15th member of the prestigious LPGA Tour Hall of Fame on June 25, 1995, with her 30th career victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. She was the first LPGA Tour player to cross both the $5 and $6 million mark in career earnings. A three-time Rolex Player of the Year, King ranked as the first LPGA Tour player to ever record four rounds in the 60s in a major championship at the 1992 Mazda LPGA Championship. She was a two-time Vare Trophy recipient in 1987 and 1993. She ranked as the winningest golf professional between 1984 and 1989 as she won 20 tournaments, including six in 1989. King now plays a limited schedule on the LPGA Tour.
Daniel, a three-time Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy recipient, has compiled 33 career victories, including one major championship, and has amassed more than $8.5 million in career earnings, which ranks fifth all-time on the LPGA Tour. Daniel won her first tournament during her rookie season at the 1979 Patty Berg Classic. She earned nearly $100,000 that season to finish 10th on the money list and captured the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year award. The following year, she won four tournaments and finished the season as the leading money winner and earned the LPGA’s Player of the Year award. Daniel’s best season came in 1990 as she won seven times and became the first player in LPGA Tour history to cross $700,000 and $800,000 in single-season earnings. Her last Tour win came at the 2003 BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open, where she became the oldest winner in LPGA history at 46 years, 8 months and 29 days.
“I can’t adequately describe how excited I was to get Betsy’s phone call,” said Daniel. “The Solheim Cup has been an important part of my life and career, and I am truly honored to experience another chapter of Solheim Cup memories, this time as assistant captain. Betsy and I have played on several U.S. Teams together, and we’ve been friendly competitors on the LPGA Tour for many years now. I respect her immensely and am happy to help Betsy lead her team in Sweden in 2007.”
For the U.S. Team, 10 players qualify based on points earned for wins and top-20 finishes during the two years between events. Points are awarded weekly to top-20 finishers and ties at official LPGA events. Points are doubled at the four major championships. The captain then selects two players to complete the 12-person squad. Only U.S.-born LPGA Tour players are eligible to earn points for the U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
Nancy Lopez was captain of the victorious U.S. Team at the 2005 Solheim Cup. Patty Sheehan was captain of the U.S. Team at the 2002 and 2003 Solheim Cups. Bradley was captain for the U.S. Team at the 2000 Solheim Cup in Scotland. Other captains for the U.S. squad were: Judy Rankin, 1996 and 1998; JoAnne Carner, 1994; and Kathy Whitworth, 1990 and 1992.
About The Solheim Cup
Sponsored by PING golf equipment, The Solheim Cup is named in honor of the company’s founder, Karsten Solheim, and his family. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the best European-born players from the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 6-3, but the European Team has won three of four events staged in Europe and will be looking to regain the Cup in 2007 after a close competition in the U.S. in 2005.