Catriona Matthew considers leading Europe at Gleneagles to Solheim Cup success this week could be her best achievement in golf.
Matthew, a Solheim Cup player, captains a powerful European aspect in Scotland, in which the hosts are wanting to prevent a third consecutive defeat in the biennial competition.
Even the 50-year-old won the 2009 Women’s British Open and finished winning Solheim Cup sides during an illustrious playing career, although feels victory this week would gazump those successes.
“I think it [Solheim Cup win] would be right at the top,” Matthew said. “I’ve always adored the Solheim Cup. As soon as it comes about, it’s been the highlight of my career every 2 years.
“One of my best moments have been in the Solheim, plus that I believe to be a fighter that is winning in Gleneagles in Scotland would position just about above my British Open triumph.
“It is good that it is finally here. It’s been, in certain respects, a quick two years and I feel these next couple of days will only fly past”
Matthew’s closing Solheim Cup appearance came in Europe’s 16.5-11.5 conquer a couple of decades back, if the Scot made the last-minute change out of vice-captain to player to replace the wounded Suzann Pettersen.
Team USA leaving the people and have drafted in Ally McDonald to take more than Stacy Lewis, have now been forced into a similar alteration before this year’s competition.
“Obviously that’s hard for them and unsatisfactory,” Matthew added. “We had been in the exact identical situation last time with Suzann [Pettersen]. I feel sorry for Stacy [Lewis].
“You have that type of connection of having on the group, being chosen, and then not being able to play since you’re hurt is unfortunate for them. Obviously Ally McDonald is strong player, a good player. They’ve got an replacement .
“I suppose being a beginner it is a small unknown quantity. They’re all good players, but you have seen previously some rookies kind of come in and excel. Subsequently other rookies who sadly just have discovered it a bit all a bit too much.”
Although Dame Laura Davies is behind her inclusion as a captain’s choice, although just making three starts that are competitive since November 2017 pettersen yields for Europe and leaves her inaugural Solheim Cup appearance.
“Why wouldn’t you need Suzann Pettersen in your group?” Davies said. “She hasn’t played a huge amount of tournaments, however, game play is extremely different. You do not need to run together 72 holes.
“At the end it may be hard for somebody who hasn’t playedbut 18 hole game play I’d back Suzann [Pettersen] each moment. In the event you have another participant on the sheet or Suzann, you may play the other player.
“Suzann could be very tricky out there. It is good for all of us. It’s amazing that she attracts that standing to our group, and I would never doubt Suzann Pettersen ever”
View the Solheim Cup live on Sky Sports. Live coverage starts with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday by 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf along with Sky Sports Mix.
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