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Rosie Jones Named 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain
Rosie Jones, a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour who played on seven different Solheim Cup teams during her career over nearly three decades, has been selected captain of the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. The 2011 Solheim Cup will be played at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland from September 23-25.
"I am honored and absolutely ecstatic to be chosen as the 2011 Solheim Cup captain," said Jones, a playing member of the first U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1990 who also sank the putt to clinch the 2002 Solheim Cup event. "The Solheim Cup has been a huge part of my career as a player, and now it will be even more exciting as I prepare for what promises to be another great Solheim Cup in Ireland. I couldn't be more proud to represent the United States and have the opportunity to lead our players across the pond to Killeen Castle to retain the Cup."
The 2011 Solheim Cup will be the 12th staging of the biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best 12 U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best 12 European-born players representing the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. leads the series 8-3. Jones faces a challenge in Ireland, however, as the European Team has won all of its three Solheim Cup events on European soil. The 2009 European Solheim Cup Captain Alison Nicholas will once again lead her team, which last year featured such prominent players as Helen Alfredsson, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen.
In her days as a member of the U.S. squad, Jones recorded 12 points over seven Solheim Cups, including an overall singles record of 3-3-1. Her most recent appearance came at the 2005 competition played at the Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., where her U.S. team beat the Europeans by three points, tying the closest match in the history of the event.
The most recent Solheim Cup last season drew fans from across the country as they watched a talented Team USA win at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois last August. The U.S. Team kept its undefeated record on home soil alive in front of a record crowd of 120,000. The winning point came in the 11th singles match on the final day when Morgan Pressel defeated Nordqvist to retain the Cup.
"Rosie Jones is a terrific choice to lead the American team at the 2011 Solheim Cup in Ireland," said John Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. "As a seven-time participant in the event, including the very first one in 1990, her Solheim Cup experience provides her tremendous insight into team dynamics and what it takes to get the most out of every player. I expect the tenacity Rosie is known for on the golf course will translate to the team and create a competitive and enjoyable environment for the players and fans."
In her career on the LPGA Tour, Jones recorded 13 victories and more than $8 million in career earnings. Her best year on Tour came in 1988 where she picked up three victories and finished third on the season-ending LPGA Official Money List. In addition to her 13 wins, highlights of her career include 187 top-10 finishes, five holes-in-ones and a 5-4 playoff record. Last October, Jones shot 7-under-par to win the Kinoshita Pearl Classic on The Legends Tour, the Official Legends Tour of the LPGA. She previously won two Legends Tour events in 2007.
Jones was chosen by a selection committee comprised of the past three U.S. team captains, the LPGA Board Chairman, President of the LPGA Executive Committee, and the LPGA Commissioner.
What They're Saying About Rosie Jones
Juli Inkster, eight-time Solheim Cup competitor and highest points earner in team history: "She'll bring a lot of energy to the team. I know this is something she's wanted for a long time. Over in Ireland, I think she'll be fiery and she'll get the team ready to go. I'm really happy for her. I think she deserves this, she's earned it. As far as Solheim Cup play goes, there is not a better competitor than Rosie Jones. I'm really excited for her."
Cristie Kerr, five-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member: "I am thrilled. She was my first Solheim Cup partner ever at Interlachen, and she was the person that taught me a lot in that first match. I think we ended up winning that match. I am just really happy for her; I hope I make her team. You know, she's got more spirit, more guts and more heart than a lot of people. I admire that about her."
Michelle Wie, youngest member of the victorious 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team: "I'm really excited. I've always looked up to Rosie, seeing her play in the Solheim Cup. She is one of the best match play competitors, and hopefully, if I get on that team, I can learn something from her. I think she would be an awesome captain and I would be truly honored to play for her."
Natalie Gulbis, three-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member: "It's exciting because I think Rosie is a perfect example of everything the Solheim Cup represents. A great player, a ton of enthusiasm, a lot of energy. I remember my first Solheim Cup with Rosie Jones and just how excited she was and I couldn't wait to get back into a team meeting with her and hear her stories. And the putt that she made at Crooked Stick is one of the most memorable Solheim Cup moments that I had ever seen. I hope to play for her."
Christina Kim, two-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team competitor: "Rosie is a bulldog. She's a fierce competitor and she knows how to dig deep. She's one of the most fearless and ruthless match play competitors of all time. I think she will be an inspiration as a captain."
Morgan Pressel, two-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team competitor: "The Solheim Cup is such an important event. We'll look forward to playing for Rosie for two years. There are a lot of people who are very well-deserving, but she's right on top of the list. I've been to Killeen Castle in Ireland, and we'll play hard for her [there]. I can only hope that I can play hard enough to get on the team."
Beth Daniel, 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team captain and former player: "I am happy and thrilled at the choice of Rosie Jones for the U.S. Solheim Cup captain in 2011. Rosie understands the spirit of the competition. She has always been a fiery competitor and I am sure she will carry that same attitude to her team as a captain."
Nancy Lopez, former U.S. Solheim Cup Team captain and player: "Rosie will be a great captain. She has put her heart and soul into every Solheim Cup she has played in. She has the experience and enthusiasm to bring her team to victory. I wish her the best."
Betsy King, former U.S. Solheim Cup Team captain and player: "I am very happy that Rosie is our next Solheim Cup captain. Rosie was always such a fighter and great competitor during Solheim Cup competition, and I am sure that she will take that fighting spirit to Ireland as she leads the U.S. team in 2011. She will do a tremendous job for the team and representing the United States."
Michelle Ellis, President, LPGA Executive Committee: "Rosie is a wonderful choice who will be a very popular and well-supported captain. She will embrace this position not only with her arms but also with her heart."
Dawn Hudson, LPGA Board of Directors: "Rosie's infectious enthusiasm alone makes her a strong candidate, but when you combine her spirit with her years of Solheim experience, demonstrated leadership among players and unwavering dedication to the LPGA, you have an ideal Solheim Cup captain. We had a strong field of candidates, so the future looks strong not only in 2011 with Rosie but for many years to come-a sentiment applicable to both the Solheim Cup and the LPGA. I join the countless women's golf fans from around the world in anticipation of watching the U.S. and European teams compete head-to-head in Ireland next year."
About the Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women's professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players representing the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 8-3. The 2011 Solheim Cup will be played at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, Sept. 23-25. The 2013 Solheim Cup will be contested at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include AIB Group and Rolex. For information, visit www.SolheimCup.com.