The 2009 European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team with Captain Carin Koch (far left)
Europe’s leading girl golfers will have a trip to Ireland on their minds when they tee up in the Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship, to be played at Gullane Golf Club, Scotland, on August 8-12.
The Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship is the last of seven counting events in which Europe’s top girls can qualify for an automatic place in the European team to face the Americans at the 2011 PING Junior Solheim Cup, staged at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland, on September 20-21, 2011.
The qualification process starts at the Spanish International Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Sherry Golf Jerez (March 2-6) and then takes in the Irish Under-18 Girls’ Championship at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort (April 9-10), the French International Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud Golf Club (April 21-25), the European Girls’ Team Championship at Is Molas, Sardinia, Italy (July 5-9), the European Ladies’ Team Championship at GC Murhof, Austria (July 5-9) and the European Individual Championship at Noordwijkse, The Netherlands (July 20-23) before the qualification system culminates at the end of the Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship at Gullane when the leading six players from the official Points Table will earn an automatic place in the European side. (Tables indicating the number of points available at each of the seven qualifying events are attached).
The six qualifiers will be joined by a further six Captain’s Picks in a European side bidding to wrest the trophy back from an American side which won the last match at Aurora Golf Club, Illinois, in 2009 to take a slender 3-2 lead in the series.
All 12 members of the European team must be 12-18 years old (born 1993 or later) and must not have reached their 18th birthday prior to January 1, 2011. Participants must be amateurs and not be members of a competitive collegiate golf programme. They must also be European citizens.
The PING Junior Solheim Cup was inaugurated back in 2002 when the American side emerged victorious at Oak Ridge, Minnesota. They also won in 2005 and 2009, with the Europeans claiming the trophy on both previous occasions the match was held in Europe, at Bokskogens GK, Sweden, in 2003, and Båstad GK, Sweden, in 2007.
Since the outset both The Solheim Cup and the PING Junior Solheim Cup have been sponsored by major club manufacturer, PING, and that relationship remains as strong as it was at the outset.
“The Solheim family has been very supportive of women’s golf since my father, Karsten Solheim, founded PING back in 1959,” said John A. Solheim, PING’s Chairman and CEO.
“Establishing the PING Junior Solheim Cup was a natural outgrowth of The Solheim Cup. Seeing players like Anna Nordqvist, Melissa Reid, Marianne Skarpnord, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang compete in the PING Junior Solheim Cup and then being able to follow their careers on the LPGA Tour and the LET has been extremely gratifying.
“I look forward to the upcoming qualifying events on both sides of the Atlantic to see who will be competing in the 2011 PING Junior Solheim Cup. Based on the quality of the contestants in both teams during the previous five events, I am certain we will have great young ladies representing both teams in Ireland.”
The PING Junior Solheim Cup always takes place immediately ahead of The Solheim Cup, this year due to be played at Killeen Castle from September 23-25, 2011, just 15 minutes’ drive from Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort. PING is the title sponsor, the Irish Ladies Golf Union is the Official Host, Twenty Eleven IGPL is the Promoter and Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort is the Official Venue.