Teams have 'secret' weapons in game's greats


DUNSANY, Ireland – The Americans and Europeans both have secret weapons in their respective team rooms, although they aren’t much of a secret.

Each has one of the best players in the history of women’s golf there to share stories, boost confidence and give pep talks.

Europe has Annika Sorenstam, the 10-time major champion and winner of 72 LPGA events, the third all-time on the LPGA. Sorenstam is an assistant captain and has been with the team all week in different capacities.

“For all the younger players now coming up, for them to know that Annika’s there for them, if they want to chat, if they want advice, just to share ideas, thoughts, she’s a great asset to the team overall,” Suzann Pettersen said. “I think everyone knows how she’s been on the golf course, but here you get to know her with regular shoes on.”

U.S. captain Rosie Jones, brought Kathy Whitworth to Ireland to be an assistant captain to fill in while fellow assistant captain Juli Inkster is playing. Whitworth, 71, has 88 career LPGA victories, which tops the tour’s list and was Jones' captain in the first Solheim Cup in 1990 at Lake Nona.

“Every player in this room has the most respect for Kathy Whitworth,” Inkster said. “It’s great for the younger players to be around her and to get to know the history of the game, get to know Kathy. I think it’s a win-win situation.”