Kathy Whitworth, Captain of the first two U.S. Solheim Cup Teams and an LPGA Hall of Famer, has been selected by PING and the American Junior Golf Association as the Captain of the 2013 U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team.
“I’m committed to making this an incredible experience for these players and I’m thrilled to have been chosen,” Whitworth said. “I’m really looking forward to this opportunity of working with the great young players.”
The PING Junior Solheim Cup biennially features the 12 best female junior golfers (ages 12-18) from the United States against the top 12 junior girls from Europe, and will be held in September 2013 at a venue to be determined in Colorado.
“We at PING are really excited to have Kathy serve as Captain for the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team,” said John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING. “I am thrilled that the members of both teams will be able to spend time with and learn from a player with more wins, 88, than any other player, man or woman. She is truly one of the great ladies of professional sports and will serve as a wonderful representative of this competition.”
Whitworth won at least one LPGA tournament every year from 1962 to 1978, which is the longest streak in LPGA history, and was named the AP Athlete of the Year in 1965 and 1967. She has hosted the Kathy Whitworth Invitational since 1999, providing the world’s most talented girls the opportunity to compete among the game’s elite junior players.
“I know how much the Solheim Cup has meant to me and I know the PING Junior Solheim Cup is at the top of the list for these players,” Whitworth said. “I want this to be a lot of fun for the players and I know this is going to be fun for me.”
The 2013 event will mark the seventh PING Junior Solheim Cup, with the U.S. Team leading the all-time series, 3-2-1. In 2011, Team USA forced a 12-12 tie and retained the cup at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, becoming the first team to capture the Cup on foreign soil.
In its history, the PING Junior Solheim Cup has established a reputation for showcasing the world’s up-and-coming female junior golfers. Paula Creamer, who was 4-2-0 in two PING Junior Solheim Cup appearances, was the first to go on to play on a Solheim Cup Team and helped the United States win at Crooked Stick in 2005 with a 3-1-1 record.
In 2011, the American team featured five former PING Junior Solheim Cup team members (Creamer, Vicky Hurst, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, and Morgan Pressel), while the European squad included three former PING Junior Solheim Cup team members (Melissa Reid, Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Munoz). Additionally, Jessica Korda and Lexi Thompson competed for Team USA before turning professional.
The Solheim Cup, the most prestigious team event in women’s professional golf and sponsored by PING golf equipment, is named in honor of the company’s founder, Karsten Solheim, and his family. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best American-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players from the Ladies European Tour. The U.S. leads the Solheim Cup series, 8-4-0, and has never lost on home soil. The 2013 Solheim Cup will be played at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., Aug. 13-18, 2013.