[PHOTO: David Cannon]

US Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis announced today that Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Angela Stanford will be her four assistant captains for this year’s Solheim Cup. Lewis made a slight shake-up to her captains from last year’s trio by not retaining Natalie Gulbis and adding Creamer and Lincicome.

“These four have so much experience and love for the Solheim Cup, plus they’re my friends and all major champions too,” Lewis said. “I’m excited to see them in this role and to help prepare them to be future captains as well.”

As the host captain of the Cup this September at Robert Trent Jones Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, Lewis was able to determine the number of assistants. She started recognising the value of a fourth assistant captain during practice rounds in Spain at last year’s Solheim Cup, sending out fewer than four players in a group to speed up the pace of play ahead of the event. However, some groups were without an assistant, which should not be the case this year. The extra assistant also takes more behind-the-scenes activities off Lewis’ plate.

The most challenging part of picking assistants for Lewis was taking Gulbis off the coaching roster. The US team’s future captain selection process combines a mix of Solheim experience and winning at least one major championship. While Gulbis did everything Lewis asked of her last year, Gulbis has not won a major title and is unlikely to be considered a future captain. Since Creamer and Lincicome both match the criteria, it was important for the future of the American program to add them as assistants.

“I personally think everybody should be an assistant at least once if not twice prior to being captain,” Lewis said. “There are so many moving parts and so much to learn. It was really more about the future, and unfortunately that kind of took Natalie out of the mix.”

Creamer, 2010 US Women’s Open winner, is an assistant for the first time after playing in seven Solheim Cups from 2005 to 2017. Creamer still aspires to make this year’s roster, as her first response to Lewis when asked to become an assistant was that Creamer still wants to play. When reminded she could become a playing assistant, Creamer gladly accepted the opportunity.

“When Stacy asked me to be on her team for the Solheim Cup, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough,” Creamer said. “My seven Solheim Cups are some of the best memories of my career, and I can’t wait to make more memories working with Stacy.”

Lincicome also makes her assistant captaincy debut this year. The two-time major champion played in six Solheim Cups in her career, including going 4-0 in fourball alongside Brittany Lang, a US record for a pairing.

“Serving as an assistant captain to the US Solheim Cup team will be one of the greatest honours of my career,” Lincicome said. “My years competing for the US team hold some of the highlights of my career and my entire life. It is such a privilege to represent our country and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role.”

Pressel and Stanford return as assistants for their second and third times, respectively. After tying last year’s Solheim Cup in Spain, the US aims to win the Cup for the first time since 2017. The Americans lead Europe 10-7-1 overall in the competition.