Sylvania, Ohio - PING and the American Junior Golf Association named AJGA Director of Recruiting Blair Thompson Sumner as Vice-Captain to United States captain Renee Powell for the 2021 PING Junior Solheim Cup.
Sumner previously served in this role under LPGA legend Alice Miller in 2017 when the United States defeated Team Europe 14.5-9.5 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Of the 12 girls on the team four have made professional starts on the Symetra and LPGA Tours, seven belong to NCAA Division One golf programs including Gina Kim of Duke University who earned medalist honors at the 2021 ACC Women’s Golf Championship, and 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Rose Zhang who is currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
"My experience as U.S. Vice Captain in 2017 was not only my best memory as an AJGA staff member, but it was one the best memories of my life. From the girls on the team, to working with Alice Miller, to the LPGA staff….it was all fantastic. I couldn’t be more honored to serve in this role again in 2021 and to represent my country."
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 11th edition of the PING Junior Solheim Cup will be hosted at Sylvania Country Club, on September 1-3, 2021, immediately prior to the Solheim Cup. The United States leads the all-time PING Junior Solheim Cup series 7-2-1 and has won six consecutive matches. Team Europe last won, 14-10 when the event was hosted in Sweden in 2007. Powell and Sumner will coach opposite Team Europe, and former Solheim Cup captain, Annika Sorenstam. Sumner joined the AJGA as a full-time staff member in 2013 and oversaw the operation for Sorenstam’s all-girls Invitational in 2018. During her AJGA career, Sumner has run some of the top junior golf events in the world and now recruits the next generation of golf industry leaders through the AJGA’s internship program.
In addition to her experience in 2017, Sumner has served as Wyndham Cup West Team assistant captain with AJGA’s Chief Financial Officer Jason Miller since 2014. The duo is 3-2-1 in that time – the winningest and longest partnership in the 30-year history of the event.
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 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.
Related links: Current PING Junior Solheim Cup Priority List
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.
About the PING Junior Solheim Cup
The PING Junior Solheim Cup is owned and hosted by PING and will be operated by the American Junior Golf Association with assistance from the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour.
Founded by Karsten and Louise Solheim, the Karsten Manufacturing Corporation is a long-time sponsor of the LPGA and AJGA. As the makers of PING golf equipment, the Solheim family continues to ensure the same superior workmanship today that they built into their original clubs more than 46 years ago. Now under the direction of John Solheim, Karsten and Louise’s youngest son, the company continues in its efforts to manufacture the highest quality golf equipment. The PING name is known world over. Besides its presence in the United States, PING markets custom-fit and custom-built equipment to more than 70 countries.
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.