PING and the American Junior Golf Association named Mary Bea Porter-King as the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup United States captain.
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 their counterparts 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. The tenth edition of the PING Junior Solheim Cup will be hosted by Gleneagles, Scotland, on September 10-11, 2019, immediately prior to the Solheim Cup.
Porter-King began playing golf at age seven and went on to achieve success at all levels – junior, amateur, college and professional, including a 25-year career on the LPGA Tour.
In college, Porter-King lettered and was inducted in the Arizona State Hall of Fame in four sports (golf, softball, volleyball and basketball). She was named College Athlete of the Year in 1973, but despite many awards and recognitions in golf, she is most widely known for scaling a fence to administer CPR to save the life of a drowning three-year old boy in 1988 during an LPGA Qualifying round in Phoenix. Her heroics led to the formation of the Mary Bea Porter Humanitarian Award, presented annually by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association in honor of an individual who, through a heroic or humanitarian act, saves or betters the lives of others. She was the first recipient of the award in 1989.
Porter-King co-founded the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association in 1998 when she retired from professional golf, a role she continues today. She has dedicated much of her life to serving junior golf as a teacher and administrator and was awarded the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Budget Service Award for her work in junior golf. Appointed to the USGA Girls’ Junior Championship committee in 1994, then in 2001, Porter-King served five years on the USGA Executive Committee. She now serves on the U.S. Junior Amateur Committee and was recently awarded the USGA Ike Grainger Award for 25 years of volunteer service.
Porter-King served as an Independent Director on the PGA of America National Board of Directors and five years on the PGA Rules Committee. She has officiated at golf’s top competitions (U.S. Open / Women’s Open, Masters, PGA Championship, British Open, Walker Cup, Solheim Cup and NCAA championships).
Despite her accomplished career, Porter-King counts her selection among her top career highlights.
“The Solheim family has done more for the game of golf and especially the women’s game around the world than anyone will ever know,” Porter-King said. “When John Solheim called and invited me to captain the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup, I thought I was dreaming. I am blessed and honored to be given this incredible opportunity. The Solheim family and the game of golf have given me more than I will ever be able to repay.
“Being around junior golfers constantly forces you to see the game with fresh eyes. Most of us only get to fall in love with golf once, through our own experience. Being part of the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup means I get to fall in love with the game all over again through the eyes of these wonderful American players.”
The Solheim Cup, the most prestigious team event in women’s professional golf, is named in honor of PING’s Karsten and Louise Solheim and their family. Played biennially, the teams feature the top American-born LPGA players versus the top European-born Ladies European Tour players.
The United States leads the all-time PING Junior Solheim Cup series 6-2-1 and has won five consecutive matches. Team Europe last won, 14-10, when the event was hosted in Sweden in 2007. Porter-King will coach opposite European Team captain and former Solheim Cup captain Mickey Walker.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Mary Bea Porter leading the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup team in Scotland next year,” said John Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “We’ve known Mary Bea since she starred at Arizona State University and we were extremely fortunate to be affiliated with her throughout her career on the LPGA Tour. She had a special relationship with my parents, Karsten and Louise, that began during her time at ASU and grew stronger as she continued her career in golf while she focused on giving back to the game. Her deep involvement in junior golf, as both a leader and administrator, makes her an ideal choice to inspire the next generation of girls who will represent their country in the PING Junior Solheim Cup. She is a great friend and I look forward to watching as she leads her team in Scotland.”
Porter-King joins an impressive list of United States PING Junior Solheim Cup past captains:
- 2017: Alice Miller
- 2015: JoAnne Carner
- 2013: Kathy Whitworth
- 2011: Meg Mallon
- 2009: Nancy Lopez
- 2007: Donna Andrews
- 2005: Colleen Walker
- 2003: Val Skinner
- 2002: Sherri Steinhauer
The first 10 girls on the PING Junior Solheim Cup United States team will be selected based on a combination of the AJGA’s Rolex AJGA Rankings and the Golfweek / Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings. The final two spots are reserved for captain’s picks.
American AJGA alumnae who have graduated from the PING Junior Solheim Cup to the Solheim Cup include: Brittany Lang, Paula Creamer, Alison Lee, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Angel Yin and Lexi Thompson. Team Europe AJGA alumnae to make the same move include: Carlota Ciganda, Georgia Hall, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Caroline Masson, Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist, Florentyna Parker, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Beatriz Recari and Melissa Reid.
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.