Defeated Helen Alfredsson is undecided as to whether she’ll stand again for the captaincy of Europe’s Solheim Cup team.
Helen Alfredsson believes it is too soon for her to think about whether to stand for the captaincy of Europe’s Solheim Cup team again, after suffering a 16-12 defeat in her native Sweden yesterday.
But Betsy King expects to be handing over the United States reins to somebody else – and has already nominated the woman she would like to see succeed her.
Unsurprisingly, it is not former team-mate Dottie Pepper – who really blotted her copybook by calling two of the American team at Halmstad “choking, freaking dogs” in a remark she did not intend to be heard on air as she was commentating on the match.
King wants her deputy Beth Daniel to be given the job – and Daniel instantly said: “I would be very honoured to be chosen, but don’t want to get my hopes up too much”.
The two of them were both clearly upset by Pepper’s description of Laura Diaz and Sherri Steinhauer for the way they allowed victory to slip away in one of Saturday’s foursomes.
King initially commented after her side’s powerful comeback in the singles: “It’s about us, not about Dottie. Let’s change the subject”.
But she could not stop herself giving vent to her feelings.
“This is the Solheim Cup – it’s a lot bigger event than one commentator on television. I think we played well today and I think we proved that we’re good pressure players.
“I will say one thing. I’m retired, and you usually retire because you can’t play any more. That’s why you’re commentating, because you’re past your prime.
“I just kind of tend to think it’s the old thing – the older you get the better you used to be. You think were you perfect and you don’t remember anything.”
King did add, however, that there was no sense of proving Pepper wrong in the way the match turned round on the final afternoon.
“I don’t think Dottie’s words had anything to do with how the team played. We’re a good team – they don’t need anything to motivate them like that.”
Daniel then chipped in: “I’ll add one thing. We came here with one goal – this team came here together to try and keep this Solheim Cup in the LPGA office in Daytona Beach, Florida, and nothing should take away from what happened this week on the golf course and the good play that was seen from every golfer out here.
“That’s the bottom line. That’s what it’s about. That’s the spirit of the Solheim Cup, a great competition with great golf.”
Alfredsson could well be given a second chance – because of her four predecessors, only Pia Nilsson, captain in 1998, did it once.
“I think it’s way too early,” she said.
“I think I’ve had a great run this week and I don’t know. There’s plenty of girls that should be getting a chance to be captains and enjoy this spirit.”
Europe actually led by two points when Scot Catriona Matthew beat Diaz in the top singles. But only 43-year-old Laura Davies and Swede Linda Wessberg won after that, and Wessberg’s victory over US Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr came after the Americans had already retained the trophy.
Matthew finished with three points out of four to be Europe’s top player – while for the second match running, 21-year-old Paula Creamer starred for the Americans with three-and-a-half points out of five.
From Mark Garrod, PA Sport Golf Correspondent
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