The PING Junior Solheim Cup will break new ground on Monday and Tuesday when it is played for the first time in Germany at the prestigious St. Leon-Rot Golf Club.
The event marks the start of a unique double-header for St Leon-Rot because on Friday through Sunday it will become the first club anywhere in the world also to host The Solheim Cup in the same week.
Excitement has been building ever since St. Leon-Rot was announced as the venue for this year’s matches and local interest will be high with the club’s own Leonie Harm having earned a place on Europe’s PING Junior Solheim Cup team.
The reigning German ladies’ and girls’ champion is joined in the European team by Spain’s Ana Peláez, winner of the PING Junior Solheim Cup ranking (pictured), María Parra and Marta Perez Sanmartin, Norway’s Sandra Nordaas, Denmark’s Puk Lyng Thomsen, Austria’s Emma Spitz, Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey, Sweden’s Elin Esborn, Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela and French duo Agathe Laisné and Mathilda Cappeliez as they bid to extend a sequence that has seen the Europeans win two and halve the other match held on home soil.
The Americans start as defending champions having won the 2013 match at Inverness Golf Club in Colorado and it is clear they will form formidable opposition with a team that is headed by reigning US Women’s Amateur champion Hannah O’Sullivan and also features Sierra Brooks, Hailee Cooper, Mariel Galdiano, Kristen Gillman, Megan Khang, Nelly Korda, Andrea Lea, Mika Liu, Haley Moore, Kaitlyn Papp and Angel Yin.
“We are ready for the challenge,” confirmed European Captain, Iben Tinning. “I genuinely believe this is one of the strongest teams Europe has ever assembled for the PING Junior Solheim Cup but we will need to be at our very best if we are going to regain the trophy.
“America has a deserved reputation for producing great teams at all levels and this year’s PING Junior Solheim Cup team is no different.
“Hannah O’Sullivan is probably the best known team members having won this year’s US Women’s Amateur but you only have to look at their individual records to see she’s by no means their only stand-out performer.
“They are a very good team but so are we,” added Tinning. “It’s going to be close but with home support on our side I see no reason why we can’t win.”
The PING Junior Solheim Cup starts with the official Opening Ceremony at 17:00 on Sunday afternoon and is followed by six fourball matches and six foursomes matches on Monday. It concludes with 12 single matches on Tuesday before attention turns to The Solheim Cup later on in the week.
“We are honoured to have been invited to become the first club to host both the PING Junior Solheim Cup and The Solheim Cup in the same week and look forward to welcoming visitors from both sides of the Atlantic,” said Patron of the PING Junior Solheim Cup and President of St Leon-Rot, Dietmar Hopp. “The PING Junior Solheim Cup starts what will be an exciting week – on and off the golf course. I wish all the fans and players lots of fun!”
“I am delighted to see how the PING Junior Solheim Cup has developed since it was inaugurated back in 2002. The decision to, for the first time, hold the tournament at the same venue as The Solheim Cup, has not only enhanced the visibility of the event, but has added to the pressure and excitement for these young golfers,“ said John Solheim, the Chairman and CEO of PING and the Founder of the PING Junior Solheim Cup. “There is so much talent in these two teams. With match play, the pressure to score win each hole, encourages more aggressive play, adding a great deal of drama and excitement for the spectator. The week promises to showcase how great women’s golf is.“