Catriona Matthew is looking for two strong performances on home soil in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open over the next fortnight to either qualify for next month’s Solheim Cup or be considered for a captain’s pick by European captain Annika Sorenstam.
The European and United States teams will be announced on Sunday 6th August after the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns.
Although Matthew is currently lying in a tie for 27th place on the LET standings, from which the top four will qualify along with the next top four Europeans from the World Rankings, a win at Dundonald Links this week, worth 70 points, would lift her into the top four, ahead of Swede Anna Nordqvist and Mel Reid from England.
Speaking at Dundonald Links near Troon in Ayrshire on Wednesday, the two-time tournament champion seemed extremely motivated to be a playing vice-captain.
She said: “Obviously, these are a big two weeks for me. I feel as though I’m playing well. It’s come around in the last month. Maybe I just haven’t produced the scores yet. It’s a big two weeks for me and hopefully I’ll get a good couple of tournaments.
“I feel as though I’m hitting the ball well. Starting to swing it a lot better than at the start of the year. I’m confident with where my game is but obviously I know realistically I need two good finishes.”
Sorenstam selected Matthew as a first-time Vice-Captain 12 months ago and speaking last week, the former world number one said: “You know, it’s been interesting, because in this case, she might be a player as well as a vice captain, so we’ve kept the communication very open.
“Of course, there’s always times when we talk about players, you know, and then she wears a different hat. But we’ve been able to keep that separate, and we’ve been able to talk openly about it and I think that’s also taught her a lot from, you know, maybe what she needs in a few years.”
Matthew, who famously holed the winning putt in The 2003 Solheim Cup at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club in Sweden and secured the half point to win the Cup outright for Europe at Colorado Golf Club in 2013, could make her ninth Solheim Cup appearance as a player on August 18-20, 2017. With increased points available for top-10 finishes in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, it’s an important tournament for all the European players in this week’s field, but especially for Matthew, whom will be under the spotlight, as she always is on home soil.