CASARES, Spain — Anna Nordqvist is on double duty this week at the Solheim Cup.
One minute she will be worrying about the right club to use on her next shot. The other she will be giving advice to her younger teammates.
The 36-year-old Nordqvist is acting both as a player and an assistant captain for Europe against the United States in the team event that begins Friday in southern Spain.
“Yeah, it’s been a little bit extra, but I kind of knew that when I took on the role,” the veteran Swede said. “For me, it’s just been amazing being part of all the work. I’m very honored to have both roles. Knowing that I play with all these players and I know these players, I feel like they’re pretty comfortable coming up to me, giving us feedback where I can raise it to the other captains.”
It’s the first time since 2011 that a player for either team is playing and acting as one of the captains at the same time. American Juli Inkster was the last to do it in the tournament the Europeans won 15-13 in Ireland.
Nordqvist said it’s an advantage for her to be working both roles. She doesn't feel like it will interfere in how she plays on the course.
“So far I feel like I’ve done pretty well. I’m excited to play and I know everything is going to be handled when I’m on the course,” she said. “When I’m on the golf course, we have done really good job. I’m just focusing on playing.”
Nordqvist is the most experienced player among both squads, having appeared in seven Solheim Cups. She was a rookie in 2009 and has not missed an edition since. She made history in 2013 when she hit the first hole-in-one in the Solheim Cup. She helped Europe win the tournament four times, contributing with a total of 15.5 points.
“Well, this is my eighth one, so I feel like I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes or from just being part of this for so many years, that I feel like I have some knowledge that can kind of help them talk through some situations,” she said. “So I feel like that’s kind a little bit more the role I had.”
Nordqvist was picked as a vice captain by captain Suzann Pettersen then qualified for the team in the final automatic world ranking spot.
And she will now have a chance to help — on and off the course — Europe win an unprecedented third straight Solheim Cup.