BRASELTON, Ga. — Former LPGA Tour player Alice Miller will captain the 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup United States team, the American Junior Golf Association announced October 19.
Modeled after the Solheim Cup, the PING Junior Solheim Cup biennially features the 12 best female junior golfers (ages 12-18) from the United States against the 12 best junior girls from Europe. The team match play event includes: Foursomes, Four-Ball and Singles matches played over two days and rotates between U.S. and European host sites coinciding with the Solheim Cup.
Miller, originally from Marysville, California, played golf at Arizona State University and was a member of the 1975 AIAW National Collegiate Championship team. Miller played on the LPGA Tour for 20 years where she won eight events and one major championship, the 1985 Nabisco Dinah Shore.
“I was just about speechless, and I’m not speechless very often,” Miller said about receiving the call from PING CEO John Solheim. “It was an absolute honor to be considered. I have a long history and relationship with the Solheim family, and I’m just tickled. What they did for golf and what they continue to do for golf worldwide, in particular junior golf, is thrilling.”
The Solheim Cup, the most prestigious team event in women’s professional golf is named in honor of the company’s founder, Karsten Solheim, and his family. Played biennially, the teams feature the top American-born players from the LPGA and the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour.
The 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup will be hosted at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, August 14-16, 2017 and is the ninth playing of the event. The United States leads the all-time series 5-2-1. Team USA has never lost when the event is hosted on American soil and Miller said she hopes the team can take home its third consecutive victory. The 2015 U.S. Team was the first team to win on foreign soil, earning the fifth win in history with a 13-11 score over Team Europe in Germany.
“Any time you represent your country is very special,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to helping our team in any role, big or small, and getting to know the players. Being alongside these young women and cheering them on as they represent our country, I get goosebumps thinking about it.”
“Alice is a wonderful and deserving choice to captain the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup team in 2017,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “We’ve been associated with Alice since her early days on the LPGA Tour and throughout her stellar career. She filled in as captain of the 1992 Solheim Cup team for Kathy Whitworth and she’s always represented the game of golf in a positive and influential way which will serve her very well in the captain’s role. Alice’s leadership and mentoring skills will have a tremendous impact on the girls as they prepare to defend their title against the European team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club next summer.”
The teams will be determined in summer 2017. The first 10 players named to the U.S. Team are selected based on a combination of the AJGA’s Polo Golf Rankings and the Golfweek Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings, while the final two spots are reserved for captain’s picks. AJGA alumnae who have represented Team USA in the PING Junior Solheim Cup and now in the Solheim Cup as professionals include Paula Creamer, Alison Lee, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Lexi Thompson. Team Europe AJGA alumnae Carlota Ciganda, Caroline Masson, Anna Nordqvist, and Melissa Reid have all competed in the PING Junior Solheim Cup and gone on to represent Team Europe as professionals in the Solheim Cup.
The tournament owner and title partner, PING, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 by the late Karsten Solheim. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim's youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit ping.com.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,600 members from 50 states and 55 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn , Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.