Revisiting the Solheim Cup: Now Juli gets to play

Image of Nancy Lopez with Handa Cup players

That’s Nancy in the front, surrounded by (from left) Rosie Jones, Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel. (Photo by Rick Sharp)

Nancy Lopez is hoping the 10th annual Handa Cup gets a boost from the recent Solheim Cup drama. It’s the U.S. vs. the “World” (eight countries), in Sarasota, Fla., and Lopez will captain a team that includes Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster.

Here’s the full report from the Legends Tour’s Lisa Mickey.

It was easy for Nancy Lopez to be inspired by the play of the winning U.S. Solheim Cup team last week when she served as an assistant captain for Juli Inkster.

But it will be Lopez’s turn in November to rally Team U.S.A. when she serves as captain at the 10th annual ISPS Handa Cup – a Legends Tour team stroke-play event between players from the United States and the eight-nation World Team, hosted by Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, Fla.

“I’m really motivated and I know some of the players in this event were at the recent Solheim Cup, so they are also motivated this year,” said Lopez, who was an assistant U.S. Team captain last week in Germany along with LPGA pros Wendy Ward and Pat Hurst.

“When you play golf, there’s a lot of pride involved and you’re always proud to represent your country,” added Lopez, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “You still want to win and beat the rest of the world.”

When the 2015 Handa Cup is staged Nov. 12-14, Lopez will lead a team that will include both Inkster and Hurst on the American side, as well as former U.S. Solheim Cup captains Pat Bradley, Beth Daniel, Rosie Jones and Meg Mallon.

The World Team will be bolstered this year by the addition of Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, who played on the European Solheim Cup team last week that lost to the Americans by one point.

Matthew will be making her debut at the Handa Cup and is certain to add to a side that features past European Solheim Cup stalwarts Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Liselotte Neumann.

“Catriona Matthew is a great player and she’ll definitely add to their team,” said Lopez. “She’s cool as a cucumber when she’s playing and she is very consistent.”

As the 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup captain, Lopez said her 2015 Handa Cup pairings will be based on “playing style and chemistry” between her players for the team events. Pairings for the singles competition will be determined following the team matches.

“These players are still very competitive and there are so many great champions on both sides,” said Lopez. “It’s a lot of fun now to be the American captain and to lead them the best way I can to hopefully repeat as Handa Cup champions.”

Tickets are available at www.thelegendstour.com or by calling 1-877-766-8162. A single-day pass is $10 and a three-day pass is $25 and includes access to practice-round day, team matches and singles matches.

For more information about The Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA, visit www.thelegendstour.com.

HERE ARE THE ROSTERS FOR THE 2015 ISPS HANDA CUP

WORLD TEAM

Captain, Sally Little, South Africa; Assistant Captain, Dawn Coe-Jones, Canada

Helen Alfredsson, Sweden

Jane Crafter, Australia

Laura Davies, England

Alicia Dibos, Peru

Wendy Doolan, Australia

Trish Johnson, England

Lorie Kane, Canada

Jenny Lidback, Peru

Catriona Matthew, Scotland

Liselotte Neumann, Sweden

Mieko Nomura, Japan

Jan Stephenson, Australia

U.S. TEAM

Captain, Nancy Lopez, Alabama; Assistant Captain, Elaine Crosby, Michigan

Danielle Ammaccapane, California

Pat Bradley, Massachusetts

Beth Daniel, Florida

Pat Hurst, California

Juli Inkster, California

Christa Johnson, Arizona

Rosie Jones, Georgia

Meg Mallon, Florida

Barb Mucha, Florida

Michele Redman, Minnesota

Laurie Rinker, Florida

Kris Tschetter, Virginia

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