Frenchman Mickael Maheo was announced last week as a vice-captain to Mickey Walker for the European PING Junior Solheim Cup team.
We caught up with Mickael ahead of this week’s two qualifying events – the French International Lady Junior Championship and the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship – to find out more about his life in golf and what he will bring to the team at Gleneagles in September.Q: When did you start playing golf?
A: I was 10 years old and I started playing a school golf programme. I fell in love with the game very quickly.
Q: What level did you reach as a player?
A: I played for 12 years as an amateur before turning pro. I played on the Alps Tour (one level below the European Challenge Tour) for three years and then started coaching and working for the French Federation.
Q: How long have you worked with juniors?
A: I’ve been the coach of the national girls team for five years now. I really enjoy working with them and helping them to grow up and play to their best.
Q: What was your reaction to being asked to be part of the PING Junior Solheim Cup?
A: I was so excited and it’s a huge honour. I’m very proud to have this opportunity and challenge. I’m excited to work with and help the girls at the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
Q: Do you know Mickey Walker well?
A: We haven’t actually met yet but we will be at a couple of the qualifying tournaments together this summer. We will talk about how to get the right team spirit, our strategies and how we can create a great week for the girls.
Q: What will you bring to the team?
A: I have five years of experience of coaching the girls in the French National Team and also coaching them in team championships like the European Girls Team Championship and the World Junior Girls Championship in Japan and Canada. I love team championships as they are fun and you share all the emotions with the girls. I’m sure the European team will be very strong at Gleneagles as I’ve seen how well they have been playing in international tournaments.
We also spoke to Mickey Walker about Mickael's appointment, and she is looking forward to working with him this year.
"We think he has great qualities in order to coach the girls and to create a good dynamic within the team," said Walker. "He is calm, professional, has own experience in playing and many years of experience in coaching the French national team."
The PING Junior Solheim Cup takes place at Gleneagles (King’s Course) the same week as the Solheim Cup, with foursomes and fourballs on Tuesday 10th September and singles matches on Wednesday 11th September.
Europe will be trying to win the trophy for the first time since 2007, under the guidance of four-time Solheim Cup Captain Mickey Walker. Notable past PJSC players include Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Anna Nordqvist and Carlota Ciganda, all of whom went on to play in the Solheim Cup.
Please CLICK HERE for more information on the PJSC.