Solheim Cup skipper Alison Nicholas has opted not to have an Irish vice captain when Europe take on the US at Killeen Castle next year. 

The English star hinted last month that she might include an Irish player like Maureen Madill in her back room team in Co Meath. 

It now appears that Ireland will not be represented on the sidelines as Nicholas yesterday named Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam and England’s Joanne Morley as her assistants. 

Nicholas said: “Annika is a born winner who thrives under pressure with a cool efficiency and passionate desire to win in whatever she undertakes. I am adopting the same strategy as last time in terms of having a vice-captain on both sides of the Atlantic. 

“Joanne is a great character with a gift of encouragement to whomever she is with and gives her all in whatever she does.” 

Sorenstam confessed that she was surprised by the call and did not accept the post straight away. 

The 10-time major winner said: ““I was a little quiet on the phone when Alison asked me because I was totally surprised 

“She asked me and I said, ‘Could you give me 24 hours?’ I knew my answer would be yes but I wanted to make sure I could live up to her expectations with my schedule and fulfill my role properly. 

“I called her back and said yes. Some of the highlights of my career as a professional have been at the Solheim Cup. That helped with my answer, but I would love to be a part of it. Now I can participate and help to bring the trophy back. 
“I’m looking forward to being with the players again, not inside the ropes, but closer. I can help from past experience: the way I approached it, give a different perspective and provide an extra hand when needed. 

“I can help with strategy with regards to course set-up, administrative roles and anything Alison needs help with. I’m just going to follow my orders!”