RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) – Liselotte Neumann took her name out of the mix as Solheim Cup captain because she thought it would consume too much of her time. A series of messages from European players convinced her it would be worth it.
Neumann was appointed European captain on Wednesday for the 2013 matches, giving the 45-year-old Swede one last chance to celebrate on American soil.
She was on the winning team twice in six tries as a Solheim Cup player, both in Europe. She was an assistant captain under Alison Nicholas in 2009 outside Chicago, where the Americans kept their record perfect at home.
The Solheim Cup will be played Aug. 16-18 next year at Colorado Golf Club. Meg Mallon previously was selected as U.S. captain. The Americans lead the series 8-4, though Europe is coming off a win last year in Ireland.
“I think that gives all our players great confidence,” Neumann said. “So I think everybody will be really fired up to hold onto the trophy and try to win it on U.S. soil for the first time. I think we can get everybody fired up for that.”
It took Neumann a while to get excited about the captaincy.
She learned in November she was under consideration, and five days later, asked that her name be taken off the list.
“Just sort of felt that I had been involved with the Solheim the last four years, being the vice captain in 2009, being the junior captain, and I really had to think about it,” she said. “Do I want to do this for two more years?”
Neumann was thinking about getting into teaching, and she was taking nutrition classes. Over the next few months, however, she received emails and text messages from players, along with friends and family members, asking her to reconsider.
“Getting those notes from some of the players really got me thinking again.’ Am I going to miss out on this if I don’t do this?’ I might never get the opportunity again,” Neumann said. “I put my name back on the list and I got the OK. I’m very honored, and it feels great to have that support.”
Neumann had a 6-10-5 record her six times playing in the Solheim Cup. She won 27 times around the world, including the Women’s British Open before it was considered a major, and her lone major is the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open at Baltimore Country Club.