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Suzann Pettersen admits she is already having nightmares about the Solheim Cup as the showdown at Finca Cortesin looms.
The European captain has finalised her 12-strong team that are bidding for an unprecedented hat-trick of victories against their fierce American rivals on the Costa Del Sol.
Pettersen established her legacy as a Solheim great as a player, famously sinking the winning putt as a wildcard on her ninth and final appearance at Gleneagles in 2019 – before announcing her immediate retirement.
And the fiery Norwegian will now lead the European side for consecutive contests, firstly at Finca Cortesin later this month and then in Virginia in 2024.
This year’s match is being billed as too close to call by many, with Stacey Lewis’ strong American team desperate to avoid a third straight defeat when the contest heads to Spain for the very first time.
And speaking to Michael McEwan at Dundonald Links for the latest issue of bunkered, Pettersen revealed that her leading role in the contest is already consuming her mind.
“I can definitely feel it’s getting closer because I’m having nightmares about it,” she joked.
“My head’s spinning at night. It’s been at a bit of an arm’s length distance until now but, yeah, with the clock ticking and the team starting to shape up, there are obviously a lot of challenges I have to rise to and questions I have to answer.
“They’re good problems to have but I’m starting to feel it, which is nice.”
Asked specifically about these nightmares, Pettersen said: “Things like forgetting my speech or standing there on a practice day and having no idea what’s going on. I guess it’s just all part of it but it’s exciting, for sure. It’s good to feel that energy again.”
Pettersen, 41, has rarely played since her dream Solheim finish four years ago, taking time away from the spotlight to focus on raising her young family.
But she was back as vice-captain for the unassuming but hugely influential Catriona Matthew in Toledo in 2021 and has now been handed a fantastic chance to help create history for Europe as the skipper for this highly-anticipated showpiece.
“Catriona didn’t want to three-peat,” Pettersen explained. “I told her she should but she said, ‘No, I’ve done two. That’s enough. You can take over.’ Those are some big shoes to fill. She was a great captain. Very authentic, very transparent, and that’s extremely important.
“But I feel like I have enough experience to take the role. The one thing that I really want is for the players to know that I’ll have their back, no matter what, through thick and thin. That’s really important to me. That’s probably my most important role.”
• Read the full exclusive interview with Suzann Pettersen in issue 205 of bunkered, our Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup special which is now on-sale in all good newsagents. Alternately, click here to subscribe.
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