European captain Annika Sorenstam has named Maria McBride, who formerly played under her maiden name, Hjorth, as her third vice-captain for The 2017 Solheim Cup at Des Moines Country Club in Iowa, on August 18-20.
McBride represented Europe five times in the biennial contest against the United States from 2002-2011 as a player and was a member of the victorious team of 2011 at Killeen Castle in Ireland, before making her debut as a vice-captain in 2015 at Golf Club St-Leon-Rot in Germany.
The 43-year-old from Sweden turned professional in 1996 and earned seven career wins, including five on the LPGA from 1999-2011 and two English Opens on the Ladies European Tour, in in 2004 and 2005.
Annika said: “Maria is a longtime friend with tremendous Solheim Cup experience both as a player and vice-captain. We have worked well together in the past and she will bring a great deal of knowledge and passion to our team.”
Maria commented: “It is a great honour to once again represent Europe in The Solheim Cup as a vice-captain, under Annika. She is one of the greatest female players golf has ever had, so having her inspire and push the team will be fun to see close-up.
“I put my interest forward to Annika quite a long time ago and since she announced Catriona (Matthew) and Marta (Figueras-Dotti) first, I was not sure that I was going to get the nod or not! But when she called I was very happy and excited to say yes. I have known Annika since the early 1990s. We played the Eisenhower Trophy together in Vancouver, Canada, in 1992 and it was fun to be able to get to know Annika and see how she progressed through the years. We know each other pretty well and we both live in Orlando and have daughters who are eight years old, so we see each other fairly often.
“I hope to bring a lot of experience, being a former player and vice-captain. I still know all the players in the teams since I played full time all the way to last year. I will have a feel for what the players want and I am also not scared to ask what they would like or need, to perform at their best level.”
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 one of the most highly coveted trophies in women’s professional golf; 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 sought after by players from both organisations.
ABOUT DES MOINES GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
Des Moines Golf and Country Club was founded in 1897, but has resided in four different locations. Since 1966, the Club has occupied 475 acres on the western edge of West Des Moines. It is the leading full-service country club in Des Moines and is among the most innovative clubs in the Midwest. Both 18-hole courses are original Pete Dye designs and consistently appear in the top 10 Golf Digest state rankings. In 1999, the Club hosted the record setting Twentieth United States Senior Open Championship on a composite of the two courses. The same routing will be used for the 2017 Solheim Cup.