Next year’s European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew hasn’t won a tournament for five years, but she is setting lofty goals for the ActewAGL Canberra Classic, starting at Royal Canberra Golf Club on Friday, where several of her potential team members will be competing.
“My goal for this week is obviously to try and win the tournament, but just to get three good rounds in, which will be good preparation for the Women’s Australian Open next week,” said Matthew, an 11-time tournament champion who won three of her four matches at last year’s Solheim Cup in Iowa, where she received a late call-up to make her ninth appearance after the withdrawal of Suzann Pettersen.
“The weather has been pretty poor at home, so I’ve not been out on the golf course much at all. I’ve been doing a lot of practice at home and I’ve got a net set up in my garage. I was just saying to my caddie that’s it’s funny hitting off the grass, but I’ve been practising my swing and working quite hard at home in the garage.”
Matthew played in the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra in 2013 and she said: “I think the kangaroos are the first thing that come to mind when I think of this golf course. It’s great to be back in Australia and I’ve always enjoyed coming here over the years. I’ve got my brother, David, coming down at the weekend and it will be nice to get some warm weather.”
She feels it’s too early to study the performances of the European team prospects in the field and will focus on her own game this week. Aside from that, she said: “I’ll just be trying to get over the jet lag.”