Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s most successful female Tour professional, is to join the nation’s golfing ‘Hall of Fame’ with the celebration of her career at next year’s Scottish Golf Awards.
The former Ricoh Women’s British Open champion and eight-time Solheim Cup player is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award when the popular fundraising event returns to the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Friday 11 March 2016.
Matthew will take time out from her busy schedule to collect the award in person in front of the expected sell-out crowd, as the North Berwick player, 46, follows in the footsteps of some of the country’s greatest ever golfers in the modern era.
Previous recipients of the Lifetime Award include Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle and, most recently, Bernard Gallacher.
The glittering awards ceremony, organised by Scottish Golf, has become one of the highlights of the golfing calendar, recognising the achievements of players and clubs at all levels of the game. Radio DJ Diane Knox, sister of PGA Tour star Russell, and broadcaster and Deacon Blue drummer, Dougie Vipond, will co-host the event, which has raised almost £50,000 for the Scottish Golf Charitable Trust over the past two years.
The Awards will also support a new charity partner, On Course Foundation, an organisation which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans through golf, with the aim of building confidence and finding meaningful employment opportunities in the golf industry.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Scottish Golf Awards, with a table of 10 costing £950 inclusive of VAT and individual tickets £95 per person. The package includes a champagne reception, 3-course meal with wine, and the chance to mingle with Scotland’s leading golfers and famous sports stars.
Matthew, who has expressed her desire to captain Europe’s Solheim Cup team at Gleneagles in 2019 and is hopeful of representing Team GB at golf’s return to the Olympic Games next summer, said: “I am simply thrilled to accept this award.
“I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed a successful career over 21 years as a professional and I believe there is still more I can achieve in the coming years. Having attended the Scottish Golf Awards for the first time last year, I know it is a fantastic event and I look forward to collecting the Lifetime Achievement Award in front of my family, fellow golfers and golf fans.”
Ryder Cup winner Stephen Gallacher joined more than 600 guests in Edinburgh earlier this year to receive the coveted Player of the Year award, which will once again be sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management. Among the contenders will be Russell Knox, who this month landed one of the biggest titles outside of the Major Championships when he claimed his maiden Tour victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions to rocket into the world’s top 50. Marc Warren has enjoyed another fine season on the global stage, while Richie Ramsay secured his third European Tour win in Morocco.
Colin Montgomerie continued to thrive on the senior circuit by lifting a third Major title and there was notable success in the amateur ranks as three Scots – Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald – played their part in GB&I’s Walker Cup victory over the USA, having also helped Scotland to glory in the European Amateur Team Championship.
Those involved in the grass roots of the game will be honoured, with the presentation of the Junior Club and Volunteer of the Year Awards, with the Bob Torrance Coach of the Year Award also presented among other categories.
Guests will have the chance to have photographs taken with iconic trophies, including the Claret Jug and Walker Cup, and win fantastic golfing prizes in the fundraising auction and raffle.
Diane Knox, who will be co-hosting the Awards for the first time, added: “I’ve heard great things about the Scottish Golf Awards so I’m really looking forward to presenting the event next March. It’s been another good year for the game in Scotland and there have been some wonderful moments at various levels. It promises to be a brilliant night for golf fans and hopefully we can top the amount raised this year for the charities.”
To book tickets and enquire about available sponsorship packages for the 2016 Scottish Golf Awards, visit http://www.scottishgolf.org/who-we-are/golfawards/ or call 01334 466477. Keep up-to-date with further announcements on Twitter @ScottishGolf or search the hashtag #ScotGolfAwards