LONDON -- Former top-ranked women’s golfer Annika Sorenstam says she has turned down the chance to captain Europe in the 2013 Solheim Cup against the United States.
"I simply cannot provide the necessary time that the European team, Solheim family and the entire event deserves," said the 41-year-old Swede. "This certainly was not an easy decision to make, as the Solheim Cup will always be very special to me. I am confident that the Ladies European Tour will select a wonderful captain and I have offered to help the team in any way I can, in an unofficial role."
Sorenstam played in the Solheim Cup eight times, winning 24 points in 37 matches, before retiring in 2008.
She also served as assistant captain at the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle, where saw the pressure on skipper Alison Nicholas. Sorenstam, who has two young children, the latest a son born at 27 weeks last year, is determined to put her family first.
"With my young family, foundation, businesses, and other commitments I have already made to try and help grow the game, I simply cannot provide the necessary time that the European team, Solheim family, and the entire event deserves," she said.
"I saw first-hand the incredible amount of work and dedication it takes to be the captain," she added. "The Solheim Cup has been an important part of my career, and I hope to one day lead the European team.
Meg Mallon will captain the 2013 United States team.
Sorenstam runs a golf academy in Florida and is waiting to hear if she and Jack Nicklaus will be designing the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Games.
"I can't commit to anything until I know what will happen in Rio," she said. "With the decision being pushed back, I didn't want the Solheim committee to wait on me."