Qualifying events for the European Junior Solheim Cup will begin today with the Portuguese International Ladies’ Amateur Championship, held at Montado Golf Resort, south of Lisbon.
Alison Nicholas, former Solheim Cup player and two-time Captain, will be the PING Junior Solheim Cup Captain this year and is excited to see the events get underway. She stated:
“The PING Junior Solheim Cup was created to help raise the awareness of girls’ golf around Europe and to help these talented girls to develop their game. I know there are many exciting juniors at this event, who have travelled from 15 different countries to play. I am sure they will be eager to start the season and I look forward to following their performances and development throughout the year.”
The first qualifying event has attracted a strong field from across Europe. Players include Sweden’s Julia Engström and Frida Kinhult; France’s Agathe Laisne and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard; Germany’s Esther Henselait and Italy’s Alessia Nobilio, to name just a few of the great players, all of whom meet the age requirement to qualify for this year’s European PING Junior Solheim Cup team.
The Portuguese International Ladies’ Amateur Championship, being held at Montado Golf Resort (Jan 25-28), will be followed by the Spanish International Ladies’ Amateur Championship, at Sherry Golf, Spain (March 1-5), the French International Lady Juniors Championship, at GC St Cloud, France (April 13-17), the Helen Holmes Scottish Women’s Open Championship, at Troon GC (April 21-23), the German Girls’ Open, at GC St. Leon-Rot, Germany (June 1-3), the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship, at Pale & Kenfig CC, Wales (June 13-17), and the ANNIKA Invitational Europe, at Halmstad GK, Sweden (June 20-22).
The qualifying season will come to a close with the European Girls’ Team Championship, at St Laurence GC, Finland (July 11-15), and the European Ladies’ Team Championship, back at Montado Golf Resort (July 11-15).
At the end of the qualifiers, the top six ranked players will earn an automatic place on the European Junior Solheim Cup team, which will then be added to with six Captain’s picks.
“I am looking for players with confidence, heart, a fearless fighting spirit and on top form running up to the Junior Solheim Cup, attributes that are essential to competing strongly against the Americans.” said Captain Nicholas.
To qualify for the European team, participants must be girls aged 12-18 years old (born 1999, or later), whom have not reached their 18th birthdays prior to January 1st, 2017. Prospective team members must be amateurs and cannot be members of a competitive collegiate golf programme. In addition, they must also be European citizens.
The 2017 event in Des Moines, Iowa, marks the ninth time the European PING Junior Solheim Cup team will battle against the US Team, which currently leads the series 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie.