Suzann Pettersen has today been named as the European captain for the 2023 Solheim Cup, during an official venue handover and press conference at Finca Cortesín, in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol, Andalucía, where the next match will take place from September 18-24, 2023.
The two-time Major champion is synonymous with the Solheim Cup, having represented Europe nine times as a player and twice as a vice-captain. She has been part of five triumphs, including the past two victories at Gleneagles in Scotland and at Inverness Club in Ohio.
At the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, following an 18-month maternity leave, she was chosen by Catriona Matthew as a captain’s pick and, when the match came down to a seven-foot birdie putt on the final hole on Sunday under the ultimate pressure, Pettersen famously drained it to bring the Cup home to Europe for the first time since 2013. The 14.5-13.5 victory tied for the closest winning margin in Solheim Cup history and she retired from competition immediately afterwards, saying “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
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In September this year, following the arrival of her second child, Pettersen returned to serve as a vice-captain under Matthew when Team Europe beat Team USA 15-13 to win for only the second time on US soil. Her first experience of being a vice-captain was at the 2017 Solheim Cup at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa, when she served under Annika Sorenstam. Pettersen had been due to have a playing role but due to injury, she swapped roles with Matthew just before the contest began.
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As a player, Pettersen made her Solheim Cup debut at Interlachen Golf and Country Club in Minnesota in 2002, during her rookie year on the Ladies European Tour. She played in the next seven editions, helping Europe to victory in 2003, 2011 and 2013, before returning in 2019 for a starring role when she holed the winning putt, which she rates as the greatest putt of her career.
The former Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Number Two has collected 21 professional titles across the LET and LPGA Tours, including Majors at the 2007 McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the 2013 Evian Championship, yet her most cherished memories have been forged when playing for passion, pride and friends in the Solheim Cup.
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“I am simply thrilled to be named Solheim Cup Captain. This is the biggest honour of my career,” Pettersen said.
“My best golfing memories are from the Solheim Cup. You are out there with your team mates, your friends, and you all work for one goal. You fight for your friends and you share incredibly precious moments.
“I have played with and under many wonderful captains since I made my debut in the competition 19 years ago. Every Solheim has been special in its own way. You make friendships for life and memories you’ll never forget.
“Every captain is different and brings their unique skills to the table. I am very much looking forward to bringing my experience to the role and working hard over the next 22 months to defend the Cup on Spanish soil.”
Speaking at the press conference, Alexandra Armas, chief executive of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We are delighted that Suzann has accepted the role of captain for the 2023 Solheim Cup. She has been the heart and soul of the European team for almost 20 years and, with 21 points earned from nine appearances, her record speaks for itself. With her passion for the Solheim Cup, her love for the game of golf and her competitive fire, she will be an inspiration to the team and to fans around the world.”
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