BOSTON, Oct. 3, 2013 – Following the European Solheim Cup Team’s inaugural victory on American soil in August, the World Team hopes to upset Team U.S.A. next week at the eighth annual ISPS Handa Cup.
The professional team event between Legends Tour players from the United States vs. international players from the rest of the world will be staged Oct. 11-13, on the General’s Retreat Course at Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tenn., just outside Nashville.
The U.S. Team has won all seven previous events and was able to retain the 2012 Handa Cup title as the defending champion when that event ended in a 24-24 tie at Reunion Resort in Orlando. It was the closest the World Team had ever come to winning the Handa Cup.
“Both teams are going to be awesome, but England’s Laura Davies and Trish Johnson will be strong additions to this year’s World Team and Liselotte Neumann of Sweden is back,” said Peru’s Alicia Dibos, the World Team’s leading point winner who is 9-8-3 overall with 21 points earned for her side.
Davies, Johnson and Neumann all are past members of the European Solheim Cup Team and Neumann was the captain of this year’s squad that upset the Americans in Colorado two months ago. The 2013 Handa Cup World Team will be captained by another former European Solheim Cup Captain -- Pia Nilsson of Sweden.
But the Americans will counter with their own firepower of former U.S. Solheim Cup Team players and captains, including Rosie Jones, who captained the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. Jones is the Americans’ leading point winner with 32 points and an overall Handa Cup match record of 15-3-2.
“The U.S. Team will be in great form with three 2013 [Legends Tour] tournament winners on our squad, including Nancy Scranton, Sherri Turner and me,” said Jones. “We know we have our work cut out for us with the new long-ball hitters on the World Team, but this year, more than any, will be a great test for our team, and we look forward to returning to Nashville – a town where we all loved to play LPGA tournaments.”
Indeed, Hermitage Golf Course hosted the LPGA’s Sara Lee Classic from 1988-1999. Past champions there include Barb Mucha and Nancy Lopez, who will play for Team U.S.A., and Laura Davies, who will play for the World Team, in this year’s Handa Cup.
Next week’s ISPS Handa Cup will kick off with a pro-am at 8 a.m., Friday, Oct. 11. Team matches will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, with six nine-hole team matches (modified alternate shot), and six nine-hole team matches at 1 p.m. (best-ball format). Twelve 18-hole singles matches will start at 9 a.m., on Sunday, Oct. 13.
Tickets are $10 each day and are available at the gate. A “Legends Weekend Pass” for both days of competition is available for $10 at Nashville-area Walgreens stores. Kids 17-under and all military personnel with I.D. get in free.
Here are the team rosters for the 2013 ISPS Handa Cup:
U.S. Captain: JoAnne Carner, Florida (Hall of Fame)
Asst. Captain: Lori West, California
Pat Bradley, Massachusetts (Hall of Fame)
Beth Daniel, Florida (Hall of Fame)
Cindy Figg-Currier, Michigan/Texas
Christa Johnson, Arizona
Rosie Jones, Georgia
Betsy King, Arizona (Hall of Fame)
Nancy Lopez, Alabama (Hall of Fame)
Barb Mucha, Ohio/Florida
Cindy Rarick, Arizona
Laurie Rinker, Florida
Nancy Scranton, Illinois/Florida
Sherri Turner, Arizona
Captain: Pia Nilsson, Sweden
Asst. Captain: Sally Little, South Africa
Helen Alfredsson, Sweden
Jane Crafter, Australia
Laura Davies, England
Alicia Dibos, Peru
Gail Graham, Canada
Trish Johnson, England
Lori Kane, Canada
Jenny Lidback, Peru
Liselotte Neumann, Sweden
Alison Nicholas, England
Mieko Nomura, Japan
Jan Stephenson, Australia