Abu Dhabi: Former Solheim Cup-winning team skipper Alison Nicholas will captain the 2017 European PING Junior Solheim Cup team, the Ladies European Tour and title sponsors PING announced on Saturday.
Nicholas, 54, received the news during the final day of Abu Dhabi’s inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, on which she has been commentating for international television.
The Junior Solheim Cup is a biennial match play tournament between Europe and the United States and involves 12 players per side, aged 18 or younger.
Nicholas was a two-time captain of Europe’s senior Solheim Cup side and led the 2011 team to victory at Killeen Castle in Ireland in 2011.
The Englishwoman also represented Europe six times as a player and won the 1997 US Open, among 16 international titles she claimed during her career.
She expressed her delight about her latest appointment by commenting: “It was a great phone call and it will be fantastic to be involved with the juniors. It was a real honour and privilege to be asked.
“It will be exciting to see the future of ladies’ golf and work alongside the juniors and I’m honoured to work with the Solheim family again. I went along to the 2013 match and it was fun to see such talent and I think the tournament is an important part of the players’ progress. PING want to help young people progress in the game. The players will build great friendships, have a fantastic experience and learn about being part of a team.”
The 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup will be hosted at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, United States, between August 15-16 next year.
“From my own perspective, it will be great to help the juniors and pass on as much advice as I can,” Nicholas added. “I hope to motivate the girls who will be part of the Ladies European Tour in the future and that’s really exciting. I’ll be able to use anecdotes from The 2011 Solheim Cup in Ireland and talk to the players about enjoying themselves and being positive and concentrating on their match.
“I’ll be able to give illustrations from other players and how they’ve coped with pressure during the game.”