Annika Sorenstam is the 2017 European Solheim Cup captain

Annika Sorenstam is the 2017 European Solheim Cup captain

Annika Sorenstam was announced Wednesday as the 2017 European Solheim Cup captain for the matches to be held next August 17-20 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa.

"I cannot tell you how excited I am," Sorenstam said at the site of this week's ANA Inspiration, the first of five LPGA majors on the calendar. "I had hoped and I had dreamed that this opportunity would come along. If I look back in my career, the Solheim Cup has always been an important part of it. We play as individuals for 99 percent of the time, but when we do get together it's just something special."

Sorenstam will match against returning American captain Juli Inkster, whose 12-player team came back from a four-point deficit in the final session to regain the Solheim Cup. The Americans won the deciding singles session by taking 8.5 out of a possible 12 points.

"I respect Juli tremendously," Sorenstam said. "She's done a lot for the game and certainly been a role model in so many ways. So I look forward to working with her and playing against her as a team."

As an assistant captain in each of the last two Solheim Cups, Sorenstam has been involved with her fair share of controversy. Sorenstam has been accused of illegally offering advice to players in each of those matches. She was also on hand last fall in Germany when Suzann Pettersen infuriated -- and likely inspired -- the American side when she pounced on rookie American Alison Lee when Lee claimed she heard that one of her two opponents, Pettersen or Englishwoman Charley Hull, give her a putt on the 17th hole of a critical match.

"We all experienced it and I think everybody learned something from it," Sorenstam said. "I don't think we'll get in that situation next year."

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