BELMONT, Mich. — Stacy Lewis was pleased with her own game on Thursday – five birdies, no bogeys – but also is filling another role as she competes these days. As the next U.S. Solheim captain, she is an astute observer as she starts to build a team in her head. On Thursday, Lewis was grouped with fellow veteran Cristie Kerr – Kerr has played in nine Solheim Cups – as well as 23-year-old American Andrea Lee, who was impressive in shooting an opening 66. 

“Andrea is a great putter. Gets me excited because that’s something I think our team has been missing,” Lewis said. “So it was great to watch her play. I mean, she has really good demeanor out there, plays quick, and is decisive. Her round could have been with a little bit better finish, too.”

The next Solheim Cup is slated for Spain in September 2023, to be played at Finca Cortesin. Suzann Pettersen will captain the European side. The event will go to even-numbered years starting in 2024, at Robert Trent Jones Club in Virginia. 

Lee won on the Epson Tour in late March, and it seems to have raised her confidence level. Having limited access on the LPGA, she tied for fifth at the Palos Verdes Championship (at Wilshire Country Club, in Los Angeles, her home course), was fourth at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play, and tied for 15th at the U.S. Women’s Open. 

“I was fully prepared to grind it out on the Epson Tour,” Lee said, “and to be able to have these opportunities now where I don’t have to worry about the schedule is really nice. I mean, I haven’t been in this position before, so it’s awesome.”