Solheim Cup, history of biennial team event


Solheim Cup, history of biennial team event
Solheim Cup, history of biennial team event © Getty Images Sport - Gregory Shamus / Staff

The Solheim Cup is a biennial team tournament for professional female golfers, representing Europe and the United States. It takes its name from Karsten Solheim (the founder of PING) who strongly wanted an event equivalent to the Ryder Cup also for women's golf.

The inaugural edition took place in 1990 at Lake Nona Golf Club, Florida, with the victory of Team USA for 11.50 against 4.5 for Team Europe. These are the components of the two teams that made history.

Solheim Cup, results

Team USA: Kathy Withworth (captain), Pat Bradley, Beth Daniel, Cathy Gerring, Rosie Jones, Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, Dottie Pepper, Patty Sheehan.

Team Europe: Mickey Walker (captain), Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Marie-Laure de Lorenzi, Trish Johnson, Liselotte Neumann, Alison Nicholas, Dale Reid, Pamela Wright. The Solheim Cup until 2002 was always played in even numbered years, alternating with the Ryder Cup.

Following the postponement of the 2001 Ryder Cup due to the 9/11 attacks, the Solheim Cup has been played in odd numbered years since 2003. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced another change to the calendar, so this year both the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup will exceptionally be held.

From 2024, the Solheim Cup will once again be held in even-numbered years. The game formula is like that of the Ryder Cup: eight foursomes and eight four-balls played in the first two days, twelve singles in the third and final day.

Before 1996, and in the 2000 edition, the game formula was similar but smaller. The winning team is awarded one point, in case of a tie, half a point is awarded. Team USA has won ten editions of the cup, while Team Europe – who are the current holders of the trophy – have won seven editions.

Two blue women who took part in the Solheim Cup: Diana Luna in 2009 at Rich Harvest Farm, Illinois and Giulia Sergas in 2013 at the Colorado Golf Club. You can read the stories of their experience in Team Europe on these pages.