With just a fortnight to go until the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland returns to Archerfield Links in East Lothian, Catriona Matthew is ideally placed to prepare for her title defence.
Matthew lives in the picturesque town of North Berwick just three miles along the coast from Archerfield Links, where she is a member and will be using the club’s superb practice facilities to prepare before the event returns to her home town.
The 42-year-old has won eight titles with four on each of the LPGA and Ladies European Tours, including her impressive victory at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham in August 2009, just 11 weeks after the birth of her second child, Sophie.
However, she believes that retaining her Scottish crown in front of friends and family would be particularly pleasing. “Any time you defend a title it’s a great honour so I’m really looking forward to defending again at Archerfield and obviously staying at home. It’s just five minutes down the road so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s where I grew up. I still live here,” said the Solheim Cup star.
As for the venue itself, she will undoubtedly have the advantage of inside knowledge, having become accustomed to every nuance of the course over the past couple of years.
“It’s nice playing the links style courses for a change. Often in the States it’s all target golf and here it’s a different kind of golf. You have more run up shots and you have plot your way around the course a lot more depending on the wind, or whatever. The course can change so quickly as one day it’s into and one day it’s downwind, so it’s different every time you play it,” she said.
“It’s also nice being able to stay in your own house, be in your own bed and it’s a little strange sometimes as well during a tournament when you’re at home but any time you’re not in a hotel it’s quite nice. There are more family and friends around so that’s always nice. I think the main thing is just being at home.”
The current World Number 18 is feeling quietly confident on account of recent performances at the Kia Classic and Kraft Nabisco Championship where she tied for 10th and 15th place respectively.
“I feel I’m playing pretty well. I played well in Thailand and Singapore and then a couple of good weeks at La Costa and the Kraft Nabisco so I feel like I’m playing pretty well. I’m not going to Hawaii. I’m having a couple of weeks off so hopefully I’ll get to practice these next two weeks ahead of the event.”
Despite her oldest daughter, Katie, starting primary school in August and her younger daughter Sophie starting nursery the same month, she plans to continue to play in America, where she has been a consistently high performer since 1995.
“I’ll try and work around it. (My husband) Graeme might spend a little more time at home and we’ll see how this year and next year goes and play it by ear, I think. I’ve never been a great one for planning way in advance. We’ll see how it goes,” she said.
With the event being played in a unique 54-hole format, professional golfers will once again compete alongside an amateur field, increased this year to 70, which will include a number of celebrities such as Michael Vaughan and Brendan Cole.
“It’s good to have a different format every so often. It’s quite special that the sponsors and their guests to get to play more than just the normal Pro-Am. Having a few celebrities too is another great aspect of the tournament,” Matthew added.
Entry to this event is free and public car parking is available. The final field will be confirmed on Wednesday 18th April at 12:00 BST.
For the full list of entries please click here