OCALA, FLORIDA (January 27, 2015) – U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Juli Inkster announced today that four-time LPGA champion and three-time Solheim Cup participant Wendy Ward will serve as an assistant captain when the U.S. takes on Europe at the 14th staging of the event at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club near Heidelberg, Germany, Sept. 18-20.
Ward, an LPGA Tour member since 1996, joins Pat Hurst as an assistant captain. Inkster made the announcement at the LPGA Tour’s season opening event, the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida.
“I’m thrilled that Wendy will be joining Pat and me as captains this year and know that she will round out our staff perfectly,” Inkster said. “Wendy will bring great passion for the Solheim Cup and experience for the younger teammates. She’s well-respected among our players and has invaluable knowledge when it comes to competing on the big stage.”
Ward (pictured at right with the 2005 Solheim Cup) was elated by the honor.
“It is an absolute privilege and honor to serve with Pat Hurst as Juli’s assistant captains for the 2015 Solheim Cup,” said Ward. “Having competed with both of them as partners, it will be equally as thrilling to plan, prepare and strategize with them as leaders. Juli and Pat are two long-time friends and along with being great competitors and even greater leaders, mothers, and role models.”
Ward is a three-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2002, 2003, 2005) and helped the Americans to two team victories in 2002 and 2005. The San Antonio native posted a 2-8-1 record and earned 2 ½ points for Team U.S.A. Her last LPGA Tour victory came in 2005 at the LPGA Takefuji Classic and has recorded 50 top-10 finishes while earning nearly $5 million in career earnings.
“Juli brings a fresh, fun element to the table, no matter what the setting is,” Ward added. “She’s the most vibrant, energetic LPGA veteran I know. She keeps the atmosphere light, yet is always super competitive and her quest for victory is evident in all that she does. It’s often said ‘once a U.S. Solheim Cup team member, you’re a teammate for life.’ But playing a distant cheerleader role for the past 10 years, I’m very exciting to once again be a part of the action! I cannot wait!”
Before turning professional in 1995, Ward was a member of the Arizona State University golf team, where she helped the Sun Devils win three national championships (1993-1995) and was a three-time First-Team All-American (1993-1995).
It was also announced earlier today that the cut-off event for American players to earn points will be at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open August 20-23 in Vancouver. Players started earning points at the 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open and will receive heavier weighted points at LPGA events in 2015 and double points at the Tour’s five major championships. Members of Team USA are decided by the top-8 U.S. Solheim Cup Points earners, two players from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings not already qualified by points, and two captain’s picks.
“Now that it is officially a Solheim Cup year, my assistants and I will be watching prospective players closely and will be looking to build a team with the players who will give us the best chance to take back the Cup in Germany. We are excited for the challenge and looking forward to finalizing our team later this year.”
The top-10 in the current standings for U.S. Solheim Cup Points as of Tuesday, January 27, 2015.
Rank Player Points Rank Player Points
1 Stacy Lewis 627 6 Brittany Lincicome 196
2 Michelle Wie 414 7 Paula Creamer 195
3 Lexi Thompson 395 8 Jessica Korda 190
4 Cristie Kerr 255 9 Lizette Salas 185
5 Angela Stanford 229 Gerina Piller 185