TOLEDO, Ohio — The Solheim Cup happens just once every two years, and a Bowling Green State University graduate is making sure the 2021 edition at Inverness Club in Toledo goes off without a hitch.
Becky Newell is serving as tournament director for the women's event, which features the world's best golfers from the United States and Europe. An estimated 150,000 people are expected in Toledo for the tournament and other activities.
Newell has been planning the tournament for four years and moved back to the Toledo area in 2019.
“This is all about the Red, White and Blue,” said Newell, a 1983 BGSU graduate. “We don't hold up any ‘Quiet, please’ paddles here. It gets loud; it’s a party atmosphere and the energy can surge around each hole. There are four matches in the morning and four matches in the afternoon, both Saturday and Sunday, and then on Monday the singles matches.”
Newell - who grew up in Maumee - is in her 11th year working with the LPGA. She started at the 2013 Solheim Cup in Colorado and then worked at the tour's headquarters in Florida.
She volunteered at the 1979 U.S. Open at Inverness and for many years at the Jamie Farr Classic at Highland Meadows in Sylvania. When the Solheim Cup director job opened in 2017, Inverness had already been named the host of the 2021 event.
“That’s just how it happened,” Newell said. “I would have gone anywhere for it, but it has been a little extra special being back here.”
Newell said she still remembers the phone number to the former Myles' Pizza in Bowling Green and remains friends with all her BGSU roommates.
The Solheim Cup starts Saturday.