Golf: Sunningdale set to stage the Solheim Cup

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The Independent Online
Sunningdale will celebrate its centenary in the year 2000 by hosting the Solheim Cup match between Europe and America. The news should ensure a quality field from the States when the Weetabix British Women's Open in August is played on the classic heathland Surrey course, the scene of the 1987 Walker Cup.

"Sunningdale is a venue associated the world over with quality and steeped in golfing tradition, and will provide the perfect showcase for the best professional women golfers from both sides of the Atlantic," said Terry Coates, the chief executive of the women's European tour.

The biennial event will be at the Muirfield course in Dublin, Ohio, in 1998 and at Interlachen, Minnesota, in 2002. Sweden, who provided four members of the European team which lost to the United States at St Pierre last year, had hoped to host the tournament in 2000.

After 45,000 spectators over three days went to South Wales last September, Coates said the event may have to be all-ticket. The date will also have to be moved to August or October as its traditional week clashes with the Sydney Olympics.

The announcement came as a relief to Coates, who two weeks ago suffered a stormy AGM when his No 2, Gill Wilson, walked out of the meeting after receiving abuse from some players. Wilson has returned as a media consultant, while Coates will continue for two years.

n Colin Montgomerie has withdrawn from this week's Tournament Players Championship in Hamburg starting on Thursday "for personal reasons".

n John Daly, fresh from eight weeks of alcoholism treatment, returned to the PGA Tour yesterday some 32lb slimmer to practise for this week's Memorial Tournament at Dublin, Ohio.