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Sweden in The Solheim Cup: The record country.
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When you talk about The Solheim Cup, there is no doubting the importance and contribution of Sweden in its history…

Since The Solheim Cup began in 1990, there has always been at least one Swedish player on the European team, (the same as England and Scotland).

There have been at least three Swedish players on each of Europe’s four winning teams in 1992, 2000, 2003 and 2011.

There has been a minimum of two players on every side, with six players, comprising half the team, in 1998 and 2000!

Even recently, in the last two editions in 2011 and 2009, there were four players on the team (as well as an assistant captain).

This is probably why, in 2003 and 2007, Barsebäck Golf and Country Club and Halmstad Golf Club (Halmstad) Halmstad Golf Club in Sweden respectively, were deservedly chosen as host venues.

Here is a chart showing the Swedish players in The Solheim Cup team throughout history (blue denotes years when Europe won The Solheim Cup; VC=Vice Captain and C= Captain):

1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 TOTAL
    Annika Sorenstam Sorenstam Sorenstam Sorenstam 4
Helen Alfredsson Helen Alfredsson Helen Alfredsson Helen Alfredsson Helen Alfredsson Helen Alfredsson 6
        Sophie Gustafson Gustafson 2
Neumann Neumann Neumann Neumann Neumann Neumann 6
  Nilsmark Nilsmark Nilsmark Nilsmark Nilsmark 5
          C.Koch 1
        Charlotta Sorenstam   1

 

2002 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 TOTAL
Sorenstam Sorenstam Sorenstam Sorenstam   Sorenstam (vice capt) 4 & 1VC
Helen Alfredsson     Helen Alfredsson (Captain) Helen Alfredsson   2 & 1C
Gustafson Gustafson Gustafson Gustafson Gustafson S.Gustafson 6
        Neumann (vice captain) Neumann (PJSC captain) 2 & 1VC
  Nilsmark (Captain) Nilsmark (Captain)       2C
Maria Hjorth   M. Hjorth M. Hjorth M. Hjorth M. Hjorth 5
C.Koch C.Koch C.Koch       3
        Anna Norqvist Norqvist 2
          Caroline Hedwall 1
      Linda Wessberg     1

Following bullet points show the importance of Sweden in the Cup’s history:

  • A total of 11 players from Sweden have played in the Team, followed by England, which has provided 9 players in total.

Sorenstam with her caddy during Solheim Cup 2007

  • Five of these 11 players have been in the Solheim Cup over 6 times
    • Annika Sorenstam made 8 appearances as a player and was an assistant captain in 2011 and will be also in 2013
    • Helen Alfredsson played in 8 events and captained the 2007 team
    • Sophie Gustafson has played in 8 straight Solheim Cups from 1998 to 2011
    • Nilsmark played in 5 events and was captain twice, in 2003 and 2005
    • Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann played in all the 6 first editions from 1990 until 2000
    • Liselotte Neumann will be the third Swedish captain following Catrin Nilsmark and Helen Alfredsson

THE PLAYERS' PERFORMANCES:

  • Annika Sorenstam, the record woman, together with England’s Laura Davies:
    • Annika is ranked second in most matches played (was just overtaken by Laura Davies in Ireland). She has played 37 matches out of 53.
    • has the record with most matches won, 22, tied with Laura Davies
    • has the record with most points scored in foursomes competition: 11.5
    • She is second player with most points earned (24). Laura Davies was first with 25

  • Sophie Gustafson has played in all last 8 editions.
    • She is 3rd European regarding number of matches played with total 31
    • Top on the list together with Trish Johnson on most birdies made by a foursome Team, 7 in total during 1st day in 2000
    • Lowest 9-hole score in Foursomes competition together with Sweden’s Hedwall -5, during second day in 2011 and in Four-ball competition -6, with Tinning during 1st day in 2003
    • Ranked second regarding number of points scored in foursomes matches, 9 (11.5 Annika )
    • Third ranked European player with total of 16 points earned

Gustafson and Hedwall, playing together, during recent Solheim Cup

  • Helen Alfredsson
    • played in the first 7 editions and also in 2009. She scored a total of 12 points overall.
    • Is 4th  European with highest number of matches played, total of 28
    • has the record (together with Davies) of most holes won by an individual in Four-ball competition, 6, in 2000 partnered with Nicholas

  • Liselotte Neumann, the 2013 Solheim Cup captain played in the first 6 Solheim Cups and worked as assistant captain in 2009 and captain of the Ping Junior Solheim Cup team in 2011:
    • Lotta has scored a total of 8.5 points throughout the event’s history
    • Lowest European 18-hole score during Four-ball competition (-7) together with fellow Nilsmark during 1st day in 1996
    • Is second regarding number of holes won by individual in singles competition: 7 in 2000, first European together with Davies

The 2011 victorious team with Sorenstam, Hedwall, Gustafson and Nordqvist

This year, with a number of prospective rookies on the team, the European team could look a little different, but there are still likely to be Swedish players in Colorado. 

Suzann Pettersen recently commented: “I mean, when I used to start playing the Solheims, half the team was Swedish.  We had the No. 1 player in the world who was the most dominant player ever, and a couple of English. It was almost like a guaranteed team just sitting right on the paper.”

However, no matter how many Swedish players are on the team, there will certainly be a heavy Swedish influence with Captain Liselotte Neumann and her assistant captains Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch both coming from Sweden.

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