Catriona Matthew believes this week, leading Europe at Gleneagles to Solheim Cup success could be her best accomplishment in golf.
A Solheim Cup participant, matthew, captains a European side in Scotland, in which the hosts are looking to avoid a third successive defeat at the contest.
The 50-year-old finished four winning Solheim Cup sides during an illustrious playing career, but feels victory this week would gazump those successes and won the 2009 Women’s British Open.
“I think it [Solheim Cup win] will be appropriate on top,” Matthew explained. “I have always enjoyed the Solheim Cup. It’s been the highlight of my career every 2 years as soon as it comes about.
“Some of my finest moments have been at the Solheim, and I believe to be a winning captain at Gleneagles in Scotland would position just about above my British Open triumph.
“It is amazing that it is finally here. It has been, in certain respects, a couple of years and I think these next few days will only fly past.”
Matthew’s closing Solheim Cup appearance arrived from Europe’s 16.5-11.5 defeat two years ago, if the Scot created the last-minute change from vice-captain to player to replace the wounded Suzann Pettersen.
Team USA have now been forced into a similar adjustment before the year’s contest and have drafted in Ally McDonald to shoot more than Stacy Lewis, leaving the visitors with six rookies in their side.
“Obviously that’s tough for them and disappointing,” Matthew added. “We were in exactly the exact identical situation last time together with Suzann [Pettersen]. I feel sorry for Stacy [Lewis].
“You have that type of relation of getting on the team, being chosen, and then not being able to play since you’re injured is unfortunate for them. Ally McDonald is player that is solid, a fantastic player. They’ve got an able replacement .
“I suppose being a rookie it’s a slight unknown amount. They’re all great players, but you have seen previously some rookies come from and excel. Subsequently other rookies who unfortunately just have found it a bit all a bit too much.”
Pettersen returns for Europe and makes her inaugural Solheim Cup appearance, even though making three competitive begins November 2017, although Dame Laura Davies is behind her inclusion as a captain’s choice.
“Why would not you want Suzann Pettersen in your team?” Davies said. “She hasn’t played a massive amount of tournaments, however, game play is extremely different. You don’t need to string 72 holes together.
“In the end it might be difficult for a person who has not playedbut 18 hole match play I’d back Suzann [Pettersen] each time. You may rather play with the other player if you have another participant on the sheet or Suzann.
“Suzann can be very tricky out there. It is wonderful for all of us. It is amazing that she attracts that reputation to our group, and I’d never overlook Suzann Pettersen ever.”
Watch the Solheim Cup live on Sky Sports. Live coverage starts with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday by 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Mix.
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