Lead role at Gleneagles in 2019

Solheim captaincy a dream come true for Matthew

Catriona Matthew

Catriona Matthew’s focus is on leading Europe to Solheim Cup victory on home soil at Gleneagles in 2019 (pic: SNS Group).

North Berwick’s Catriona Matthew admitted it was a ‘dream come true’ to be appointed as European captain for the next Solheim Cup at Gleneagles on 13-15 September 2019.

Matthew made her ninth appearance as a player for the European team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa last month, having served as a vice-captain to Annika Sörenstam.

Selected as the travelling reserve by the captain, she stepped into the player role after Suzann Pettersen withdrew through injury and the Scot proved to be one of the stars of the team, earning three points for Europe from her four matches.

Now Matthew is looking forward to her next challenge: leading Europe to its sixth victory over the USA over the PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire.

She said: “It’s a great honour and a dream come true to be the captain at home in Scotland.

“Since my first appearance in 1998, I have always loved playing in the Solheim Cup. It’s always such an incredible atmosphere and over the years that I’ve played, I’ve enjoyed it more and more.

“From the extremely high standard of play, to the enormous crowds, huge infrastructure and fantastic media coverage, the event just keeps getting bigger and better.

“Scotland will provide the perfect stage for the 2019 Solheim Cup and Gleneagles will be a terrific venue. I was lucky enough to win there in 1998 and there is nothing better than winning in your home country.”

The Ladies European Tour’s Chairman, Mark Lichtenhein said: “Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is absolutely delighted that Catriona has accepted the captaincy.

“Her experience, combined with her outstanding record and passion for the Solheim Cup, make her the perfect choice to lead Team Europe and not just because, as a Scot, she will be leading on home soil.

“Catriona’s contribution to the European Team over nine editions has been immense and her performance in Des Moines was simply brilliant. As the captain, she will continue to inspire not just her own team, but millions of fans around the world.”

Matthew played in nine Solheim Cups from 1998-2017 (1998, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and was a member of three victorious teams, in 2003, 2011 and 2013.

With a career total of 22 Solheim Cup points, she moved up to third on the all-time points list, behind Laura Davies (25) and Sörenstam (24). She also moved into joint-third with Cristie Kerr on the all-time match victories list, with 18 career match wins, behind only Davies and Sörenstam with 22 apiece.

She joined the Ladies European Tour in 1995 and won her maiden LET title at the 1998 McDonald’s WPGA Championship on the King’s Course at Gleneagles in the same year that she made her Solheim Cup debut at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

The 48-year-old, who counts the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open among her 10 international titles, becomes the 10th European captain, following Mickey Walker, Pia Nilsson, Dale Reid, Catrin Nilsmark, Helen Alfredsson, Alison Nicholas, Liselotte Neumann, Carin Koch and Annika Sörenstam.

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