Solheim Cup: 'About eight players' chasing Catriona Matthew's European wild cards

Catriona Matthew
Catriona Matthew is "quietly confident" despite saying Europe are "up against it"

European captain Catriona Matthew says "about eight players" are still vying for her four wildcard picks at the Solheim Cup in September.

The Scot will make her debut as captain at Gleneagles having faced United States as a player nine times.

"I've got quite a lot of names in mind," she said. "With two majors coming up as well, a lot can change.

"Players are jockeying for positions and I've got four picks, so it's just seeing who is coming into form."

Matthew admits she faces a major challenge to reduce the candidates down to four.

"It's an exciting time these next few weeks," the 49-year-old told BBC Scotland. "I think these three weeks in Europe we'll see who really steps it up and who really wants those spots."

The USA will have the top-ranked player at Gleneagles, with Lexi Thompson currently number four, and have three others in a top 20 containing one European - Spain's Carlota Ciganda at 14.

"We'll be up against it, but I'm quietly confident - we've got a lot of players doing well," Matthew said.

"The Americans always come out with a strong team - obviously Lexi is their top one."

Matthew is relishing the "huge honour" of being captain for the first time - and may take that confidence from the fact Europe have won both times the Solheim Cup has been held in Scotland, at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000.

The Scot, who has previously been vice-captain, is also heartened by the form of Anne Van Dam, Azahara Munoz, Celine Boutier and Bronte Law.

"Carlota has been playing well, Anne played well just this week, Azahara has been playing well all year and we've got a couple of rookies, Celine and Bronte, who have both won this year on the LPGA Tour," she added.

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