Friday, June 2, 2023

Golf is not only our business, it is our life...

HomeFEATURED WEBSITEFormer No. 1 Stacy Lewis tabbed to lead Team USA in back-to-back...

Former No. 1 Stacy Lewis tabbed to lead Team USA in back-to-back Solheim Cups in 2023 and 2024

Stacy Lewis has yet to lead Team USA into battle at a Solheim Cup, but she already has the job lined up for a second time. With the Solheim Cup being contested in back-to-back years, Lewis, 37, will lead the American team both in Spain and Virginia, the LPGA has announced.

Already the youngest captain in Solheim Cup history, she’ll be 38 when Team USA tries to take back the Cup from Europe on Sept. 22-24 at Finca Cortesin in Spain. The youngest U.S. captain to date was Patty Sheehan in 2002 at age 45.

The 2024 Solheim Cup will take place Sept. 12-15 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. Lewis will be the fifth player to captain Team USA more than once, joining Juli Inkster (2015, 2017, 2019), Judy Rankin (1996, 1998), Patty Sheehan (2002, 2003) and Kathy Whitworth (1990, 1992).

“This is such an amazing honor, to be asked to again captain the U.S. Solheim Cup Team. Receiving the first call was one of the highest points of my career, and I am truly grateful to add this second opportunity,” said Lewis in a release. “I’ve said it many times – representing the United States and wearing our colors are experiences that stand out in any player’s career. To have the chance to lead our country’s best players twice, and especially in 2024 outside our nation’s capital, is a true privilege.”

Stacy Lewis of team USA holds the Solheim Cup trophy at the closing ceremony of The Solheim Cup at St Leon-Rot Golf Club on September 20, 2015, in St Leon-Rot, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

A 13-time winner on the LPGA who ascended to No. 1 and won two majors, Lewis is a big-picture thinker and straightforward communicator. She’ll take advice and she’ll compromise, but there will be no gray area. While her Solheim Cup record is lacking at 5-10-1, she’s open about what she has learned over the years and wants to improve on every aspect of the event that she can.

“I want to figure out what we’re missing,” said Lewis last February. “The pieces that we’re missing to help these girls play better and help make it be a better experience for the fans or whatever it may be.”

To that end, she has already put in place a new stats system to help identify potential pairings. After reading about the stats systems both Ryder Cup teams (and Presidents Cup teams) have relied upon in recent years, Lewis went on a mission to get something similar for her team.

“In the past, we’ve made pairings based on being friends or who gets along,” said Lewis, “there’s really been no rhyme or reason. Juli did the personality test and things like that because we’ve never had stats to put to it.”

Lewis met with the stats groups that work with the U.S. men (Scouts Consulting Group) and Europe (Twenty First Group). She knew she’d have to find a creative way to fund the program outside of the Solheim Cup budget. That’s when KPMG stepped up to help, creating an extension to the already existing KPMG Performance Insights with the continued help of the Twenty First Group.

By the time the 2023 Solheim Cup is staged, there will be two years’ worth of data to analyze.

“It’s going to help project who’s going to make the team and then from that,” said Lewis, “making your picks based on pairings and who will pair well together.”

The data will also be specific to the golf course, looking at details like what kinds of shots will be hit from the tees and how many of the par 5s are reachable.

Lewis plans to keep some of the pod system that three-time captain Juli Inkster put in place but make it more flexible. After being forced to withdraw from the team in 2019 due to injury, Lewis served as an unofficial assistant captain under Inkster. She worked in that role in an official capacity under Pat Hurst in 2021.

“It comes down to making putts,” said Lewis after she was named captain the first time around.

“We didn’t do enough of that at Inverness. That’s what I talked about, being in these last groups and learning how to handle the pressure and the emotions of it. That’s really what the putting comes down to.”

List

One year to Spain: See what the 2023 Solheim Cup teams could look like with several new faces

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments