Why the U.S. Solheim Cup team has ducks on their golf bags

Why the U.S. Solheim Cup team has ducks on their golf bags
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Win or lose, the U.S. Solheim Cup team will at least know why it’s competing. The Americans’ captain, Stacy Lewis, has put reminders everywhere.

On their hats are 10 stars for the 10 past U.S. Solheim Cup victories.

On their yardage book covers are the locations where Americans won those Cups.

On their golf bags are more stars – 13 on one pocket for the 13 past captains, and 62 on another for the 62 Americans who have previously represented their country in the biennial team event.

“The theme is I want these girls to know what they’re playing for and what they’re becoming a part of,” Lewis, who competed in four Solheim Cups as a player, said Wednesday at Finca Cortesin, site of this week’s Solheim Cup in Spain. “So, there’s a lot of things going on.”

But wait, there’s more.

On the back of their hats is the number “88.” That’s in honor of the late Kathy Whitworth, who won an LPGA-record 88 times and captained the victorious U.S. squad at the inaugural Solheim Cup in 1990. Whitworth died Dec. 24, 2022, at the age of 83.

And on the bottom of their golf bags is perhaps the most unique tribute, a yellow duck. That’s in memory of Shirley Spork, who passed April 12, 2022, at 94 years old. As Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols explains, “Spork often looked for ducks when she played to her take her mind off competition. The strategy helped keep her relaxed.”

“I wanted these girls to know how special of a group they’re coming into,” Lewis continued. “So, they know what you’re playing for. If you don’t know what you’re playing for, you don’t know about the history. We lost Kathy and Shirley since we were together in Toledo [at the 2021 Solheim Cup, won by Europe], so I wanted them to be a part of this week in some way. … They are with us this week.”

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