A decade ago, the media labelled The Solheim Cup ‘The Ryder Cup with lipstick,’ a succinct reminder of its status as ‘the female equivalent.’
These days, the event stands proudly in its own right and no such comparison is necessary, but as European Captain Carin Koch discovered when she met
Captain Paul McGinley at Gleneagles, there are numerous similarities and shared experiences at these two mega sporting events.
Carin, you’ve just been to the Ryder Cup. Tell us about your visit.
It was my first Ryder Cup and I had a great time! I did a few interviews for TV and radio, visited team rooms, the hotel and had a nice chat with Paul
What were the most noticeable similarities to The Solheim Cup?
The atmosphere, the crowds and the decorations in the team rooms in blue and yellow!
What were the main differences?
The Ryder cup is a bit bigger, but really the same. We have more songs on the first tee, they have more cheering.
Did you know Captain Paul McGinley before?
I had met him before, at The 2011 Solheim Cup in Ireland. I know his wife Allison (maiden name Shapcott) who used to play on the Ladies European Tour.
What did you discuss with Paul McGinley?
Some of his preparations and things he had done in the team room. I will talk to him again about his experience.
Which caddies did you recognise?
“Fooch” caddies for Justin Rose, Craig Connelly for Martin Kaymer and Terry Mundy is with Ian Poulter. I think two of them have caddied at seven Solheim
cups and four Ryder Cups!
What were your thoughts on his pairings and strategy?
He seems to know his players well, and made sure they were comfortable and felt part of the team. They played for each other.
What were his best pairings in your opinion?
Justin Rose and Hendrik Stenson worked well.
What are you doing to prepare at the moment?
I have visited the course, decided the on-course clothing, and I have a lot of other things in my head at the moment.
How will this change next year?
Next year I will focus more on the players.
Which tournaments are you planning to play in over the next 12 months?
I’m not sure yet. Dubai is my next one, then I will see aboutnext year. I will visit some tournaments in the US and play some LET events.
Who are your helpers and what are their roles?
I am undecided who they are but they are very important for the tournament week. They are part of creating a great atmosphere around the team. They
get the players and caddies what they need and also report in from the course to the captain about various things.
What role does Annika Sorenstam have?
She is one of my vice Captains. She will help me study the stats of the players next year, and have a say in the pics. Then she will have an important
role during the tournament week.
What is the role of Fanny Sunesson?
She is my strategic advisor. I am very happy to have her on the team.
Are there any players you are watching closely and what do they need to do to impress you?
There are many girls who could be on the team. They need to make lots of birdies and eagles and be good teammates.