Current UGA assistant coach Whitney Wade helped the U.S. to victory in the inaugural Junior Solheim Cup in 2002.
Aug. 12, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia freshman Harang Lee is among 24 of the world's premier girls golfers competing in this week's PING Junior Solheim Cup in Denver, Colo. Lee, a native of Castro Uridales, Spain, will represent Europe in the match play event, which will be contested Tuesday and Wednesday at The Inverness Golf Club.
Lee also represented Europe at the Junior Ryder Cup last summer and has been a member of Spain's national team on numerous occasions.
"Representing Spain is really nice," Lee said. "Representing all of Europe is even bigger. I'm really excited."
The Junior Solheim Cup pits the 12 best European and U.S. junior girls golfers against each other. The schedule includes four-ball matches Tuesday morning, foursome matches on Tuesday afternoon and singles matches on Wednesday morning.
The first Junior Solheim Cup was contested in 2002, and the U.S. currently leads the series 3-2-1. The most recent match was staged at the Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Ireland in 2011 and resulted in the first tie in the series. Previous Junior Solheim Cup competitors include Solheim Cup professional players such as Paula Creamer, Azahara Munoz, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Morgan Pressel, Caroline Hedwall, Brittany Lang and Melissa Reid.
This will represent the fourth time a Georgia golfer has participated in the Junior Solheim Cup. In 2002, current assistant coach Whitney Wade was 2-1-0 for the U.S. in a 17-7 win. In 2003, Taylor Leon was 2-1-0 for the U.S. in a 12.5-11.5 loss. In 2005, Marta Silva Zamora was 1-2-0 for Europe in a 16-8 loss. In 2007, Silva Zamora was 2-1-0 for Europe in a 14-10 win.
"It's a great honor for our program to have Harang representing Europe and the University of Georgia in the Junior Solheim Cup," head coach Josh Brewer said. "Only 12 players every two years get the chance to represent Europe in this event so this is definitely a feather in her cap and another great honor added to Harang's already impressive list of golf accomplishments."
Lee's resume is headlined by individual and team titles at the 2011 European Young Masters. She garnered a commanding 9-shot victory over the girls' field while leading Spain to a 13-stroke win in the co-ed team competition. Lee also has helped Spain to a runner-up finish at the 2012 European Girls' Team Championships, as well as third-place showings in 2011 and 2013.
Last summer, she represented Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup.
"I played in the Junior Ryder Cup last year and that made me focus on possibly playing in the Junior Solheim Cup," Lee said. "I really didn't play that well part of this year and I didn't know if I was going to be selected. But I played well at the British Am and also at the European Team Championships so I thought I had a chance. I was very excited when I got the call and the invitation."
Lee, the only Spanish golfer on team Europe, will make the adjustment from competing against to competing with her Solheim Cup teammates this week.
"I know some of them pretty well but usually I'm playing for Spain and playing against them, and when you're competing against someone you might not like them very much," Lee said. "Playing in the Junior Ryder Cup last year, I got to know them better and now I'm good friends with some of them."
Golf manufacturing company PING is the founder, owner and title sponsor of the Junior Solheim Cup.
"The PING Junior Solheim Cup is a very special event for the Solheim Family and we send our congratulations to the 12 girls who earned the right to represent Europe against the United States in the biennial match," said John Solheim, the company's Chairman and CEO, when the European team was announced in July. "With players from eight different countries, it's clear girls' golf in Europe is growing stronger every year. They will have an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. We look forward to meeting them in Colorado."