Carin Koch welcomes Maria and Sophie to the Solheim team

Carin picks her three vice captains

My first choices as captain are now complete and it was great to announce my vice-captains. Annika Sorenstam was my first pick when I was named captain and I have now added two more fellow Swedes in Sophie Gustafson and Maria McBride (Hjorth).
In previous years the captain has had two assistants but I thought it would be nice to have an extra set of hands after talking to Paul McGinley.

Annika Sorenstam on the Annika Academy

I wanted these three girls on my team; Maria will be great as she is based in the States and is still playing while Sophie has so much experience and was so good as a helper last time in the States. I’ve known her forever and she will be great to have around.
Between the four of us we have 25 appearances in the competition so hopefully we should be able to bring plenty of experience!

First & Last with Sophie Gustafson

Both Maria and Sophie told me quite early on that they really wanted to be involved if they didn’t make it. I saw in an interview that Sophie said she’d be in Germany even if it was to fetch a coffee for me and she is so passionate about the cup. She’s also very laid back and relaxed which I like as well.

I know that it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge at times but we don’t expect it to be a problem. Sophie has a prominent stutter which makes public speaking difficult and we have joked that being the vice-captain is the best job as you’re part of it all, you help make the decisions, you don’t really have to take the bad stuff from the media, you don’t have to do any public speaking and it’s really the captain that makes the final decision.

I know that it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge at times but we don’t expect it to be a problem. Maybe one day she will be a captain so this will be a good week for her.

In terms of the on-course team it is shaping up nicely. Suzann Pettersen is not injured any more and has just had a top five in the States, Catriona Matthew was also top 10, Laura Davies was up there in Turkey and it was fantastic to see Mel Reid win there. I’ve definitely kept an eye on Mel and she was the first person I saw in China after she finished really well over in Australia. I’m excited to see her up there again and I think she’s a better golfer now than she has ever been and she seems more settled and happier and relaxed which is great after a very tough few years.

Four months and counting!

Previous article
Next article