Spain’s Tania Elosegui, who claimed her maiden LET title last year in the Netherlands, will represent the home nation alongside Emma Cabrera-Bello.
Representing England will be the 2004 British Open champion Karen Stupples and Melissa Reid, while Wales also has a powerful team in Becky Brewerton and Breanne Loucks.
The victorious 2009 US Solheim Cup Captain Beth Daniel and her assistant Captain Meg Mallon will again represent the United States after finishing seventh on their debut in 2009.
It is the strongest international field gathered for the tournament since its inauguration in 2008 and World No. 16 Matthew explained how much she is looking forward to it: “I am really looking forward to playing in the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup. It is always nice to represent your country and play as a team. I love playing in team competition and have always played pretty well,” she said. “Nothing compares to Solheim, which is the ultimate team event, however, I have also loved playing in the World Cup, Lexus Cup and JC Penney Classic over the years and in the Curtis Cup when I was an amateur. I like the fact that you are playing not just for yourself.”
Format of play will remain the same as in previous years: two days of better-ball followed by two days of Valencian Cup. Matthew continued: “I like the format; it is the same format that the used to play the JC Penney mixed team event in the US. I played with Dan Forsman from the PGA tour for a few years and we always did very well.”
On her playing partner, she commented: “I don’t know Krystle very well at all. We met in Dubai at the end of last year. She had a really solid rookie year and won the unofficial pro-am event in Dubai. She is obviously a good player having played in the Curtis Cup as well. Her results last year were pretty consistent. I think that is what you want in team competition: two players who are fairly consistent and always keeping the ball in play is the key to doing well.”
|Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon from the USA at the 2009 event|
This year’s event, sponsored by Valencian Community Investments (VCI), will feature prize money of €350,000 and a whirlwind social calendar.
Outside the ropes activities include an evening event called “Approaching the Sea” at Denia Marina, where players hit balls to a specially constructed island green.
There will be a longest drive competition over the outdoor swimming pool at La Sella Resort, with the event mascot “Birdie” in attendance to entertain spectators and an art exhibition featuring work by top Spanish realist painters.
There will be a “pink cocktail” event at local bars and restaurants, as well as a 14 round tournament called the “European Amateur Cup,” with a place in the Pro Am for the winning couple.
Fans of women’s golf further afield can partake in a competition on the official tournament website, www.euronationscup.com, where a break for two at the Denia Marriott Hotel at La Sella Resort can be won.