SOUTHPORT, England – Laura Davies has appeared in more Solheim Cups than any other player, but don’t expect the English player to captain future European teams. She’s not interested.
Sweden’s Carin Koch recently was made European captain, succeeding Liselotte Neumann. Koch will try for an unprecedented three European wins in a row when the teams meet next September at St. Leon Rot Golf Club, Germany. Davies hopes to make the team as a player, but that’s as far as her interest in the match runs. She doesn’t see herself as a future captain.
“I’m not interested at all,” Davies said. “It’s not my sort of thing. I’m hoping still to be playing in the match.
“I’ve always said no, I’ll never do it because it’s just not in my personality. I’m not the sort of person who could be a captain and lead a team out. I’d be a vice-captain. If Carin said do you want to be a sort of playing vice-captain, that’s the sort of thing I could see doing.”
It seems incredible to think Davies will go through her entire career without ever captaining a European Team when she was the talismanic leader of so many European sides in the past. Davies played in the inaugural 1990 match and then played in the next ten, compiling a 22-18-6 record. For most of those matches she was the European figurehead, almost the women’s equivalent of Seve Ballesteros in the Ryder Cup.
Last year’s match was the first time she failed to appear in the competition. Naturally, many in the game think the 50-year-old Englishwoman’s next stint in the competition should be as captain.
“Everything thinks I should do it. I probably should do it, but I don’t know that I want to do it or that I’d be that good at it.”
Davies has tipped Annika Sorenstam to succeed Koch as captain. Sorenstam acted as vice-captain last year and will form part of Koch’s backroom staff next year, too. Davies says Sorenstam is a natural for the 2017 match in the United States.
“I think Annika wanted to do one in America,” Davies said. “She’ll find it a lot easier because she lives in America and can get out to see the players. If you’ve got a choice between Carin and Annika, then it would be Annika but she obviously didn’t want to do it now.”
Davies was speaking at a media day to promote this year’s $3 million Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale. Davies won the 1986 Women’s British Open over the Southport links. Although she is now around 30 years older than many of her peers, the English legend still thinks she has the game to win the biggest championships in women’s golf.
“Although I’m 50, I’m still as enthusiastic as ever. I still think I can win. Maybe not many other people do, but I know how well I’m hitting it.
“I want to win the (Kraft) Nabisco Championship to complete my grand slam of majors. I want to get in the Hall of Fame, the LPGA Hall of fame. I might be the only one that thinks it but I’m still pretty sure I can do it. Otherwise I wouldn’t be bothering. If you don’t think you can win then it’s time to pack up.”
And maybe think of captaining a European Solheim Cup team. Or maybe not.