Suzann Pettersen will look to emulate the “calmness” of predecessor Catriona Matthew after being handed the task of captaining Europe in the next two editions of the Solheim Cup.
The two-time major winner, who was already preparing to lead the side in September’s contest in Spain, has also been appointed for the 2024 clash in the United States.
The two encounters are being held just a year apart as a result of the Solheim Cup moving to even years to avoid clashing with the Ryder Cup, with Stacy Lewis also captaining the US team this year and next.
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) February 21, 2023
Europe are seeking an unprecedented hat-trick of wins after Matthew captained the side to victory in Ohio in 2021 and Gleneagles in 2019, where wild card Pettersen holed the winning putt and promptly announced her retirement.
The 41-year-old Norwegian is renowned as a fiery competitor and was famously involved in a controversial incident over an unconceded putt in the 2015 contest, but plans to take a calmer approach to captaincy.
“I’ve thought a lot about this, but obviously my competitive side has kind of changed a little bit after, first of all, becoming a mother and then second stepping away from a competitive life,” Pettersen said.
“That feistiness and determination I had inside the ropes is probably still there, but it doesn’t become clear as often as it used to.
“But I really admire how Beany (Matthew’s nickname) captained the last two.
“Obviously I’ve seen a lot of other great captains as well that I’ve played under, but Beany in particular kind of showed how her calmness, her just being herself in all aspects, made it so easy a place to relate to and kind of feel comfortable.
“So I think I’m going to be more of the outside-the-ropes more relaxed Suzann than you’ve probably seen.
“I have no control over what these girls are going to do on the golf course, which I’m completely fine with, because these are the best players in the world.
“So just giving away kind of that power, the best I can do is just to be very supportive from kind of an arm-length distance and give them my best support.”
Pettersen admitted it is unusual to be named captain for consecutive contests, but revealed it had been on the cards even before she was given the job for 2023.
— The Solheim Cup (@TheSolheimCup) February 14, 2023
“I don’t know if I should say, tell the truth about it, but yes, we talked about this kind of leading up to making the decisions for 2023, that most likely this was going to be a two-year kind of gig,” Pettersen added.
“I was obviously all for it. I didn’t change my opinion one way or the other. I love the Solheim Cup and it’s such a unique honour to be asked to captain Team Europe again in 2024.
“I love the progression that a lot of the European players have had and are having these days. A lot of our players have won over the last year. That’s very important because winning brings confidence, and confidence brings belief again.
“I want players to kind of believe in themselves that we can manage to win it once again on home soil.”