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Wie West named US assistant captain for 2021 Solheim Cup

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Miami (AFP)

Michelle Wie West, who played on three Solheim Cup-winning teams in five appearances, was named Thursday as an assistant captain for the 2021 US squad by captain Pat Hurst.

The Americans, who lost to Europe's top women's golfers 14 1/2-13 1/2 last year at Gleneagles, will host their rivals in the biennial event September 4-6, 2021, at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Wie West, the 2014 US Women's Open champion, helped the US women take the trophy in 2009, 2015 and 2017 and was on losing sides in 2011 and 2013.

"Naming Michelle as an assistant captain was an incredibly easy decision for me," Hurst said. "She reached out to see if she could be involved with the team, and I quickly knew that I wanted her as one of my assistants.

"She's out there playing with the younger players, and since I've been off the Tour for a while, that's a crucial asset for me to have."

Wie West, who joins Angela Stanford as an assistant to Hurst, worked with Hurst in a US pod sub-group in 2015 and 2017.

"I learned so much from her leadership and friendship," Wie West said. "Those weeks were great opportunities to learn from one of the best players and coaches I know, and to work alongside her is going to be an amazing experience."

Wie West went 3-0-1 in her 2009 Solheim Cup debut, becoming only the second LPGA rookie to play for a US Solheim squad, and took at least one point in her other appearances.

"My five times playing for Team USA at the Solheim Cup and wearing the Red, White and Blue –- those are incredible highlight moments in my career," she said. "This next step as an assistant captain is going to be yet another highlight moment."

Wie West, whose husband is NBA Golden State Warriors executive Jonnie West, became a mother last month, giving birth to daughter Makenna on June 19.

"Being a good role model to my daughter is really important to me," Wie West said. "I just want the experience of Makenna watching me play, hopefully watching me come down the stretch to win a golf tournament."

Wie West said she would be ready if Hurst wanted her to play, but after a pregnancy break and with the LPGA only planning a return next week from the COVID-19 shutdown, the 30-year-old Hawaiian added, "that's a bridge that we'll cross when we get there, if we even do get there".

"I definitely want to compete again," Wie West said. "It just depends really on the state of the world more than the state of my game at this point."

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