Catriona Matthew believes leading Europe at Gleneagles to Solheim Cup success this week would be her greatest accomplishment in golf.
A nine-time Solheim Cup player, matthew, captains a strong side in Scotland, where the hosts are looking to prevent a third consecutive defeat in the biennial contest.
Even the 50-year-old finished on four winning Solheim Cup sides through an illustrious playing career, but feels success this week would gazump those successes and won the 2009 Women’s British Open.
“I think it [Solheim Cup win] will be right on top,” Matthew said. “I have always enjoyed that the Solheim Cup. It’s been the highlight of my career every 2 years as soon as it comes around.
“One of my finest moments have been in the Solheim, plus that I believe to be a winning captain at Gleneagles in Scotland would position only about over my British Open triumph.
“It’s amazing that it is finally here. It has been, in some respects, a couple of decades and I feel these next couple of days will only fly past.”
Matthew’s closing Solheim Cup appearance arrived in Europe’s 16.5-11.5 conquer two decades back, when the Scot made the last-minute switch from vice-captain to participant to replace the injured Suzann Pettersen.
Team USA have drafted in Ally McDonald to take more than Stacy Lewis and have now been forced to a similar alteration before this year’s contest, leaving the visitors.
“Obviously that’s hard for them and unsatisfactory,” Matthew added. “We had been in exactly the exact same situation last time with Suzann [Pettersen]. I feel sorry for Stacy [Lewis].
“You have that sort of relation of having on the group, being picked, and then not being able to play as you’re injured is unlucky for them. Ally McDonald is player that is solid, a fantastic player. They’ve an able replacement there.
“I guess being a beginner it is a slight unknown amount. They are all great players, but you’ve seen in the past some rookies excel and sort of come from. Subsequently other rookies who unfortunately just have found it a little all a bit too much.”
Although vice-captain Dame Laura Davies is fully behind her inclusion as a captain’s pick, even though just making three starts that are competitive considering November 2017 pettersen yields and leaves her Solheim Cup appearance.
“Why wouldn’t you need Suzann Pettersen in your team?” Davies stated. “She has not played a large amount of tournaments, however, game play is extremely different. You do not need to run 72 holes together.
“At the end it may be hard for someone who hasn’t played, but 18 hole game play I’d back Suzann [Pettersen] every time. You might rather play with the player, if you have another player on the sheet or Suzann.
“Suzann could be rather tricky on the market. It is terrific for us. It’s great that she attracts that reputation to our group, and I’d never doubt Suzann Pettersen ever.”
View the Solheim Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage starts with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday by 5.30pm Sky Sports Golf along with Sky Sports Mix.
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