With the Solheim Cup, the LPGA’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, set to happen in August, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan is attempting to turn the event into a high-energy fan experience.
At Solheim Cup media day in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, Whan shared his desire for the tournament to be very loud, fun, and cheerful. He wants the crowd to be nothing like a typical golf crowd.
- The Skinny: Solheim Cup will be played August 18-20 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. The format is similar to the Ryder Cup with a team of Americans competing against a team of Europeans.
- Media Day: Solheim Cup media day was held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club, the site of this year’s Solheim Cup, on Tuesday. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan and American team captain Julie Inkster were present to bring an element of hype to the event.
- Get Loud: Whan stated that the event will be one where “the ‘quiet please’ signs will go away.” He referred to it as a “football game that met a soccer match that met MMA”.
- Get Rowdy: Inkster was pleading for the American fan base to be extraordinarily rowdy and cheerful. She requested that fans wear red on Friday, white on Saturday, and blue on Sunday.
- Team Race: Lexi Thompson currently holds an enormous lead in the American Solheim Cup standings with 612 points. Stacy Lewis is second with 386.5. Other notables in the top 10, which is the cutoff point for automatic qualifying include #3 Gerina Piller, #6 Brittany Lang, and #8 Michelle Wie.
- Euro Captain: The European team, which lost to the Americans in Germany two years ago, will be led Annika Sorenstam, who is surprisingly the captain for the first time.
- TV Coverage: The Solheim Cup returns to network TV for first time in 15 years. NBC will broadcast the back-end of the Singles Matches, Aug. 20, from 4-6 PM. Golf Channel provides live coverage Fri-Sun, right up until NBC takes over for the final two hours.
— SoundOFF (@SoundOFF13) June 19, 2017
“No offense to the USGA and no offense to men over 50, but this ain’t no Senior Open we are bringing here. I’m sure that was fun, but I promise you this won’t feel like that.”