Stanford was a six-time player for the U.S. in the Solheim Cup.
Angela Stanford will be an assistant captain for the Americans at the Solheim Cup for a third time in 2023.
Captain Stacy Lewis made the announcement Tuesday, naming Stanford to the third and final assistant slot, joining Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis.
Stanford was a six-time player for the U.S. (2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015) in the event which will be held at Finca Cortesin in Spain, Sept. 22-24, 2023.
“I’ve known Angela for a long time and I’m so happy that she agreed to work with me at the 2023 Solheim Cup,” Lewis said in a statement. “Angela has a great eye for statistics, finding the little details that go into picking the best players and making the right line-up combinations. As we look ahead to our week in Spain, I know that I have three great people – and great friends – who will work with me to bring these players the best experience, on both sides of the ropes.”
Stanford, who joined the LPGA in 2001, has six victories, including a major championship at the 2018 Amundi Evian Championship.
“I am extremely honored and excited to be part of Stacy’s team in 2023. Stacy’s passion for women’s golf and the Solheim Cup is truly awesome. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Solheim Cup, and I’m so happy to represent my country again,” Stanford said in a statement.
Lewis and Stanford, U.S. teammates three times (2011, 2013, 2015), were assistants for Pat Hurst at the 2021 Solheim Cup, which the European side won 15-13 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Europe also won in 2019.
“I just love her passion and her energy for the Solheim Cup,” Lewis said. “She’s great in the team room with the girls. Last week we announced the stats kind of program that I’m working on, and I think Angela has a really good brain for that.
“So that was honestly, when I got the stats thing done I was like, I need Angela on board. So I think she’s going to bring a good mindset there and going to help me a lot the week of with that.”
The U.S. won the two Cups prior to that in 2017 and 2015. Stanford earned the winning point for the U.S. in 2015 in Germany.
“I think the thing about Solheim Cups is everybody knows how much I love a Solheim Cup,” Stanford said. “I love playing them, but it’s different when you get to be invited to be a part of the Captain’s team. Not everybody gets to do that.”
A handful of rookies could make their event debut at Finca Cortesin.
The 2023 Solheim Cup heads to Spain for the first time Sept. 22-24 and a number of new faces might make their debuts at Finca Cortesin. Much can happen between now and then, of course, but U.S. captain Stacy Lewis and European captain Suzann Pettersen have several impressive rookies already the mix.
The selection criteria is different for the two teams. Team USA takes the top seven players from the Solheim Cup points list (points are doubled next year), plus the next two highest-ranked players off the Rolex Rankings. Lewis gets three captain’s picks.
Team Europe takes only the top two players off its points list plus six LET members off the Rolex Rankings not already qualified. Pettersen will receive four captain’s picks.
Right now, Carlota Ciganda seems to be the only Spanish native with a chance to make the team, though Azahara Munoz recently returned from maternity leave and could make a run. Munoz is a veteran of five Solheim Cups and most recently competed in 2019.
Other players not listed below but worth keeping an eye on include: Hawaii’s Allisen Corpuz, California’s Alison Lee, Yealimi Noh, and Mina Harigae, Johanna Gustavsson of Sweden and Germany’s Leonie Harm.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a first hole like this in the Solheim Cup.”
The first hole at the 2023 Solheim Cup will be unlike anything else in event history. That’s because organizers at Finca Cortesin in Spain have created a drivable par-4 opening hole to crank up the challenge and suspense. The new 280-yard par 4 has a large lake on the left side that reaches to the front of a sizable green.
“It is a good decision to have made this change,” said Finca Cortesin managing director Vicente Rubio in a release. “The characteristics of the new hole one will allow us to accommodate more than 1,000 people over the tee, which will make for a great atmosphere. I think it’s the perfect hole to start a Solheim Cup.
“This hole is, as they say, a risk and reward hole. Players can either try to reach the green with one shot or play more conservatively. The design of the hole and the great difference in height between the tee and the green will make it a spectacle, and I have no doubt that it will be a success.”
The event will be held in Spain for the first time one year from now, September 22-24. Suzann Pettersen will lead Europe, which has won the last two contests, and Stacy Lewis will captain Team USA.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a first hole like this in the Solheim Cup,” said Lewis. “You can reach the green, but the water comes into play quite a lot…It’s like an amphitheater. The stands are going to be high up, practically above you, which will make the public feel very close. It’s definitely a great hole for the Solheim Cup.”
This year, Vu has eight top-20 finishes in 17 starts and sits 37th on the money list.
Lilia Vu got so nervous teeing it up alongside Stacy Lewis at the CP Women’s Open that she blocked her opening tee shot 40 yards. Vu pulled herself together, but the nerves only reiterated how badly she wants it. Lewis is the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup captain, and Vu wanted to make a strong impression.
“I love team events,” said Vu, who teamed up with Jennifer Kupcho and Kristen Gillman in 2018 to win the World Amateur Team Championship, Curtis Cup and Palmer Cup.
After Lewis lost her own match, she went out to watch Vu play in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play event last May in Vegas, where Vu advanced to the semifinals. Later in the summer, Lewis invited Vu to a Solheim Cup dinner during the KPMG Women’s PGA.
“I don’t know that she’s going to need a pick, to be honest,” said Lewis after playing a practice round with Vu last month at the Dana Open in Ohio.
Lewis, who calls Vu “super solid” and “sneaky long,” wouldn’t be surprised to see Vu play her way onto the 2023 team that will take on Europe next September in Spain. She’s now on a short list of potential rookies that includes Andrea Lee, Allisen Corpuz and Lucy Li.
Vu, 24, currently sits in a share of eighth on the Solheim Cup points list with fellow UCLA player Alison Lee. The top seven qualify for the team of 12 off the points list. Points will be doubled in 2023. Two more come off the Rolex Rankings, and Lewis has three captain’s picks.
“She was the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world for two years,” said Lewis. “Not really a surprise in my book.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that Vu thought about quitting the game. During her first year on the LPGA in 2019, she made one cut in nine starts and earned $3,830. The winningest player in UCLA history, with eight titles, then thought about going to law school.
Vu’s mom, however, convinced her to stay the course.
“Every shot was life or death,” explained Vu.
In 2021, she turned a corner on the Epson Tour, winning three times to clinch her LPGA card.
This year, Vu has eight top-20 finishes in 17 starts. She’s 37th on the money list with $573,580 and 32nd in CME points. She even has two aces on the season.
“I think I love golf more every day, honestly,” she said.
When asked what she attributed that to, Vu said, “Just thinking about how people would really kill to be in this position and get the privilege to play golf … and travel.”
Vu, of Fountain Valley, California, will compete in the next four domestic events on the LPGA, beginning this week at the AmazingCre Portland Classic and winding up close to home at the LPGA Mediheal Championship at the Saticoy Club in Somis, California.
Vu has played out of Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, California, since she turned professional along with fellow touring pros So Yeon Ryu, Patrick Cantlay and Brendan Steele.
“I’ve played with Steele before,” said Vu. “He shot 60.”
Vu counts several members of Shady Canyon as mentors. They have their own success stories in areas outside of golf and share bits of wisdom, encouragement and book recommendations.
As she tries to wait patiently for that first LPGA victory, Vu counts her mental game as her biggest strength.
“I think I’m very resilient,” she said.
A trait captain Lewis knows the value of better than most.
The Solheim Cup will be contested in Spain for the first time in 2023.
There’s a saying on the Swedish National Team: “It’s us against the world.” Even at individual events, the Swedes make a point to cheer each other on. That hasn’t changed since Linn Grant and Maja Stark both turned professional last August.
Since then, they’ve won a combined 14 times around the world, with Grant famously beating the men at the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed, and Stark winning last week at the ISPS Handa World Invitational to earn her LPGA card.
“If it’s not me,” said Grant, “she’s the No. 1 I want to see win.”
This week at the Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Team Series event in Spain, Grant met 2023 European Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen for the first time. Stark and Grant have talked about playing together in a Solheim. Linn believes they’re actually undefeated in foursomes play, representing Sweden together on numerous occasions and winning the historic Sunningdale Foursomes in 2019.
“Maja said it would be quite silly not to put us together, actually,” said Grant, a former ASU standout who now ranks 56th in the world. Stark, who is not in this week’s event, rose to No. 45 in the Rolex Rankings after Sunday’s victory.
Nelly Korda and big sister Jessica headline the field at the La Reserva Club de Sotogrande, where the competition takes place August 18-20. The American stars made their debut on the Aramco Team Series last fall in New York, with Jessica’s team coming out on top in a playoff that finished under the lights.
The Aramco Team Series Sotogrande is one of six Saudi-backed events on the LET schedule. The events remain controversial given the wide-ranging human rights abuses Saudi Arabia has been accused of, especially toward women.
The Solheim Cup will be contested in Spain for the first time in 2023, and Grant and Stark are primed to give the Americans a good deal of grief.
The two Swedes, who are close in age and grew up in the same area of Sweden, weren’t always close. Quite the contrary, in fact.
“I know for sure that she didn’t like me at all prior to getting to know me,” said Grant with a laugh, “which is funny, looking back at it now.”
It wasn’t until they were forced to play on the same girls’ team and room together that the pair of opposites started to become friends in high school. They still don’t like many of the same things off the golf course (food, music, hobbies), but they’ve learned how to appreciate their differences and now choose to travel together, having recently spent the last four weeks together on the road.
Last week at the ISPS event, the two friends were paired together in the third round and set a goal of trying to make a combined 16 birdies on the day.
“We said before the round, let’s really root for each other today,” said Stark, “more than usual, and do high fives when we make birdies and stuff.”
Heading into the week, Stark told her pal she wanted to celebrate something. That she hadn’t celebrated anything all summer. By week’s end, they were sipping champagne together, toasting the biggest day of Stark’s young career.
It was more than Grant experienced after beating a field that included 78 men by nine at the Scandinavian Mixed. She made the hour-long drive back home on Sunday and had pizza with the family before flying out with her brother the next day for an event in London.
Grant, who became the first woman to win on the DP World Tour, said her Instagram blew up so much after that victory that she had to turn off her phone to focus. A friend living in London got a kick out of walking down the street and seeing Grant’s face on a huge TV screen in the city.
“I think it just turned out to be such a big thing,” said Grant, “which has been really fun.”
Stark and Grant have similar games in terms of how they hit the ball, but they vary when it comes to how they choose shots.
“Maja is more of a daredevil,” said Grant, “she goes for one percent shot.”
Grant likes to play it safe and keep calm. When they’re partners, the two friends feed off of each other’s strengths but mostly just let the other person be.
Stark and Grant are Nos. 1-2 on the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol. Because Grant received LPGA status at last year’s Q-Series, she earned CME points in the four LPGA events she has competed in this season. She is currently 68th on the CME points list and is considering playing in the limited-field Asian events this fall as well.
The top-60 players on the CME points list qualify for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, where the winner receives a record $2 million prize.
Stark, who played two seasons at Oklahoma State, shot a course-record 10-under 63 on Sunday in Northern Ireland to win by five and immediately accepted LPGA membership.
“This changes everything,” said Stark. “I was going to go to Q-School, and that’s just impossible because Q-School would be the week after our final, the tour final, and now I don’t have to worry about that anymore, getting over to the U.S. super quick.
“So, yes, it’s just huge. I finally get to play where I want to be.”
Stacy Lewis named Natalie Gulbis an assistant captain for the 2023 squad.
Stacy Lewis, who will be the captain of the U.S. squad at the 2023 Solheim Cup, named Natalie Gulbis an assistant captain for the team.
Gulbis, 39, played on three winning Solheim Cup teams (2005, 2007, 2009) and posted a 5-4-1 mark. She went 2-0-1 her singles matches. Gulbis joined the LPGA in 2002 and has one victory, the 2007 Evian Masters.
“There’s nothing more inspiring than wearing the Red, White and Blue and representing the United States. Playing on my three Solheim Cup teams is among the highlights of my career, and I was so excited when Stacy asked me to work with her for the 2023 squad,” said Gulbis in a statement released by the LPGA.
Morgan Pressel will also be an assistant for the Solheim Cup, which will be held in Spain at Finca Cortesin, September 22-24, 2023.
“When I accepted this captaincy, I knew that I wanted the team around me to love this event as much as I do. Natalie completely fits that role,” said Lewis in a statement released by the LPGA. “She’s been a great friend since my rookie year, and I knew that she would be perfect as one of my assistant captains. Natalie has been a fantastic resource for me throughout my career, both personally and professionally, and I know her positive spirit will be an awesome influence in the team room.”
Morgan Pressel is a six-time Solheim Cup team member and a major champion.
Stacy Lewis has selected Morgan Pressel as an assistant captain for the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup team. Pressel, a six-time member of Team USA and major winner, will try to help the Americans win back the cup next September at Finca Cortesin in Spain.
“When I started thinking about assistant captains, I knew that I wanted people with a true love for the Solheim Cup,” said Lewis. “Morgan was immediately at the top of my list. Her passion for the Solheim Cup and her competitive energy will be great assets to Team USA. I’ve known her for years as a competitor and friend, and I’m happy to have her with me as we spend the next year building a great team.”
Pressel, 33, was part of winning Solheim Cup teams in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019. She secured the winning point in 2009 with a 3-and-2 victory over Anna Nordqvist. Pressel’s overall Solheim record is 11–8–3.
Pressel became the youngest major winner in history at age 18 when she won the 2007 Chevron Championship. She also won the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic and has 66 career top-10 finishes. She recently put away her clubs for most of the season as she embarked on a career in television, covering the LPGA for Golf Channel.
“The Solheim Cup is the greatest exhibition in our sport, bringing unrivaled passion and energy, and it has always been one of my favorite events,” said Pressel. “I am honored and excited for the opportunity to support Stacy in her journey as captain of Team USA! We have been on many teams together, and now to help her and Team USA in Spain as an assistant captain will be a tremendous highlight in my career.”
In 2023, the competition heads to Spain for the first time at Finca Cortesin on the southern coast.
The Solheim Cup seems to get better every year. The 2021 staging at Inverness was a rousing success with a record crowd of 130,000, packed pavilions and merchandise flying off the shelves before the competition even started.
In 2023, the competition heads to Spain for the first time at Finca Cortesin on the southern coast. Because the Ryder Cup moved to odd years due to the pandemic, the Solheim Cup will switch back to even years, with back-to-back competitions in 2023 and 2024.
In 2024, the Solheim Cup heads to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, the LPGA announced. Golfweek first reported that the biennial event was likely headed there last week.
Jones considered the course, located just outside Washington D.C., to be his masterpiece. It opened in 1991 and was home to four Presidents Cups as well as the 2015 Quicken Loans National, won by Troy Merritt.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is ranked 74th in Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses list. Its picturesque back nine runs adjacent to Lake Manassas, a 770-acre reservoir.
“We are honored and excited to bring the 2024 Solheim Cup to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. RTJ has a strong tradition of hosting world-class international competitions, and we can’t wait to add the Solheim Cup, one of the flagship events in women’s golf, to the list,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan in a statement. “Playing the Solheim Cup on this magnificent golf course near our nation’s capital will provide the perfect backdrop for these elite athletes to battle for the Cup. I have no doubt that the club and its members will serve as wonderful hosts, and that fans from around the world will enjoy an experience of a lifetime.”
The Solheim Cup has never before been staged in Virginia. Europe has won the last two contests, shrinking the United States’ overall lead in the series to 10-7.
There’s another big women’s event headed to the D.C. area soon with the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship slated for Congressional Country Club later this summer.
“If I need to build the best team possible and my name is a part of that, then I’ll do it.”
Stacy Lewis hadn’t even been publicly announced as the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup captain when she started filling up a notebook. At 36, she might be the youngest to be named captain of Team USA, but she believes plenty more just like her will follow. In true Lewis form, she’s already thinking of ways to make the job better.
“Behind the scenes, I want to set things up in place for future captains,” Lewis told a group of reporters, “so certain things from when the announcement is made to when you go about the process of doing your clothes and your bag and all that stuff, that it’s already kind of in place and set up, that it’s not kind of reinventing the wheel every time. Because I think looking forward, your captains are going to continue to be younger. They might still be playing like I am, so there’s got to be a balance there.”
Lewis, who will lead the USA’s efforts to reclaim the Solheim Cup from Team Europe at Finca Cortesin in Spain on September 22-24, is already big on practice sessions, wanting to make sure the routines of Solheim week are comfortable for all 12 players as best she can. This will be the hardest event of their careers inside the ropes, said Lewis, and she’s all about making it as stress-free and fun as possible. She also wants to win.
Lewis will keep some of the pod system that three-time captain Juli Inkster put in place but make it more flexible.
“It comes down to making putts,” said Lewis. “We didn’t do enough of that at Inverness. That’s what I talked about, being in these last groups and learning how to handle the pressure and the emotions of it. That’s really what the putting comes down to.”
Could she possibly lead by example next year in Spain? Heading into 2022, Lewis never imagined she’d be a playing captain. But after opening up the 2022 season T-4, T-8 and T-18, she’s not counting it out.
“If I need to build the best team possible and my name is a part of that,” she said, “then I’ll do it.”
Lewis sounded a bit like a new commissioner when she noted that she planned to do a lot of listening in the next few months. She wants to talk to fans, media, players, caddies, and players’ families. Team USA has lost the last two Solheim Cups, and she’s determined to do the work needed to change that.
“I want to figure out what we’re missing,” she said. “The pieces that we’re missing to help these girls play better and help make it be a better experience for the fans or whatever it may be.”
The Solheim Cup is the biggest stage in the women’s game, and Lewis wants everyone on her team to understand the history of the event and the weight of its importance. She wants past players and past captains involved as much as possible so that current players can feel their passion.
A 13-time winner on the LPGA who ascended to No. 1 and won two majors, Lewis is a big-picture thinker and straightforward communicator. She’ll take advice and she’ll compromise, but there will be no gray area. While her Solheim Cup record is lacking at 5-10-1, she’s open about what she has learned over the years. Like the time in Colorado when she got frustrated after a missed putt and walked off the green, only to have partner Paula Creamer yell at her to come back and be a good partner.
“Gosh, you have more humbling moments in golf when you lose,” she said.
Growing up with scoliosis made Lewis tough. It also gave her great perspective. She wasn’t a child prodigy or even a top college recruit. She slowly, and somewhat surprisingly, built herself into the best player in the world and made the tour stronger in the process. Now she’s a working mom working hard to make the tour better for generations to come.
Lewis will be 38 years old by the time the next Solheim Cup rolls around. The youngest U.S. captain to date was Patty Sheehan in 2002 at age 45. Catrin Nilsmark was 36 when she captained Europe to victory in 2003.
Juli Inkster, who along with recent past captains Meg Mallon and Pat Hurst served on the committee that selected Lewis, told her: “You’re ready for this.”
Suzann Pettersen was named 2023 European Solheim Cup captain at a press conference in Spain on Monday. The colorful Norwegian player, who has been both the hero and the villain of the biennial match, will try to carry on the momentum set forth by Catriona Matthew, who led Europe to consecutive victories in 2019 and 2021.
The next match will take place in Spain’s Costa del Sol from September 18-24, 2023.
Pettersen, 40, has represented Europe in nine Solheim Cups as a player and twice as vice captain. In 2019, she famously sank the winning putt at Gleneagles and then walked off into retirement with son Herman in her arms.
“I am simply thrilled to be named Solheim Cup captain,” said Pettersen. “This is the biggest honor of my career.”
Pettersen made her Solheim debut in 2002 at Interlachen Golf and Country Club in Minnesota and helped lead Europe to victory in 2003, 2011 and 2013 before returning from maternity leave in 2019 to deliver the most impactful seven-foot putt of her career.
Prior to being named a wild card pick in 2019, Pettersen has competed in only three Rolex Ranking events in 18 months, with two missed cuts and a T-59 in the CP Women’s Open.
Her performance in Scotland was nothing short of legendary.
“We are delighted that Suzann has accepted the role of captain for the 2023 Solheim Cup,” said Alexandra Armas, chief executive of the Ladies European Tour. “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.”
Pettersen took on the role on villain in 2015 when a concession controversy erupted on the final day in Germany.
The incident occurred on the 17th green at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in four-balls when rookie Alison Lee picked up an 18-inch putt for par that she thought Europe had conceded. As Charley Hull walked off the green, Pettersen told the group’s rules official that the putt hadn’t been given.
The miscommunication resulted in a loss of hole for Lee and partner Brittany Lincicome, who walked to the 18th tee stunned.
After the Americans failed to birdie the final hole, Europe closed the match, 2 up, and Lee and Hull broke down sobbing.
The Americans responded with the biggest come-from-behind victory in Solheim Cup history, with Team USA overcoming a four-point deficit to triumph, winning 8.5 points in singles play Sunday.
Pettersen later issued an apology.
Now a mother of two, Pettersen served as vice captain for Matthew at Inverness in September, helping Europe take home the Cup despite having only a small number of friends and family present due to travel restrictions.
A two-time major champion, Pettersen has 21 LPGA and LET titles, including 15 on the LPGA. She won the 2007 McDonald’s LPGA Championship (now KPMG Women’s PGA) and 2013 Evian Championship.
“My best golfing memories are from the Solheim Cup,” said Pettersen. “You are out there with your teammates, your friends, and you all work for one goal. You fight for your friends and you share incredibly precious moments.”