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Nilsmark named Solheim Cup Captain again

The Ladies European Tour Board is delighted to announce that Sweden 's Catrin Nilsmark, who led Europe to an historical victory at Barsebäck G&CC last September, will retain her captaincy for The Solheim Cup in 2005, which will take place from September 9-11 at Crooked Stick GC, Indiana.

Nilsmark, a five-time Solheim Cup player, courageously spearheaded the European team in reclaiming the Waterford Crystal trophy from the USA in record breaking fashion by 17½ to 10½ points, despite her being hampered by a serious back injury which forced her to operate on crutches and ride on a customised golf buggy throughout the week.

"It was a natural choice for the selection committee as Catrin proved to be an inspirational figure at Barsebäck last season and she instilled a fantastic team spirit," explained Ian Randell, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour.

"She is extremely popular with the players, staff, caddies and the media and we are convinced having Catrin at the helm once more will give Europe the best opportunity to retain the trophy."

Nilsmark totalled eight and a half points as a Solheim Cup player which included outstanding performances in helping Europe to victory in both 2000 and 1992.

At Loch Lomond in 2000, Nilsmark earned one of Dale Reid's captain's picks and fully justified selection by winning three points en route to victory.

In 1992, Nilsmark will always be remembered for holing the winning putt when Europe, captained by Mickey Walker, defeated the USA for the first time at Dalmahoy in Scotland .

"I was delighted to be asked to be Captain once again and am looking forward to the opportunity to carry out my role without crutches, and hopefully in good health this time!" said the 36-year-old from Gothenburg, who has the distinction of being the most experienced Solheim Cup captain having scored the most points since her debut in 1992. 

"I feel more prepared now with the invaluable experience gained last year and, of course, this time I will have two years to plan.  Nancy Lopez is a legend in women's golf and she will no doubt prove to be a formidable opponent as the USA Captain for the 2005 matches.  I feel very honoured to have been asked to be her counterpart, as I did with Patty Sheehan, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead." 

Lopez, a 28-year member of the LPGA Tour with 48 victories to her credit , is arguably the most popular female golfer alive today . Lopez was a member of the US Solheim Cup Team for the inaugural Solheim Cup in 1990 at Lake Nona in Florida and recorded two points for the victorious Americans.

In her own playing career, Nilsmark, who plays regularly on both sides of the Atlantic , won her maiden title at the 1994 Ford Golf Classic on the Women Professional Golfers' European Tour prior to qualifying for the LPGA Tour.

She joined the LPGA Tour in 1995 and earned her first victory at the 1999 Valley of the Stars Championship after a sudden-death playoff with fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam. 

That same year, Nilsmark added a third professional tournament victory to her résumé with a win at the Evian Masters.

Nilsmark is married to golf writer and broadcaster Fredrik Nilsmark and at present they have one daughter, Tuva who was born in 1997. However, Catrin and Fredrik are expecting their second child in April.

The USA lead the series by 5-3 since The Solheim Cup inauguration in 1990 and Nilsmark will hope to reduce the deficit in 2005 by becoming the first European captain to win the trophy on American soil.

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