Solheim Cup: Catriona Matthew 'thrilled' to be named as Europe captain again

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Matthew 'looking forward to Solheim challenge'

Catriona Matthew is "thrilled" to be given the chance to retain the Solheim Cup after being chosen to captain Europe for the second time in a row.

The 50-year-old Scot led her team to victory over the United States on home soil at Gleneagles in September.

She will be captain again at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio, in 2021.

"Winning the Solheim Cup in Scotland was a dream come true, but backing that up with a win in America would be even better," Matthew said.

"It's always harder to win on US soil, but I'm honoured to be tasked with the mission. I was lucky enough to be part of the first European team to win on US soil at Colorado Golf Club in 2013 and so know what's possible."

That remains the only time Europe have won in the United States and it was also the only time they have retained the trophy, which has been won by the US in 10 of the 16 meetings.

Matthew was part of a winning team three times in her nine appearances as a player, including the side who won at Killeen Castle Golf Resort, Ireland, before defending the trophy.

With Meg Mallon having succeeded Rosie Jones as captain in 2013, Matthew would become the first to lead Europe to successive wins should she repeat September's success.

The only other Scot to captain Europe, Dale Reid, failed in her attempt to retain the trophy in Minnesota after leading her side to victory at Loch Lomond in 2000.

"The core of the team will probably be the same again," Matthew said. "Obviously there's always new faces, but I think we've got a good group of players and we'll have every chance of winning it in the States.

"I'm excited to get down to business, build the next team and see what Europe is capable of at Inverness Club. It's a very Scottish name, so I'm hoping that's a good omen."

The appointment was announced by the Ladies European Tour at the scene of September's win, with Matthew saying the victory was "right up there" alongside her 2009 Women's British Open win at the top of her career achievements.

She revealed that fellow Scot Kathryne Imrie, England's Dame Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen, the wildcard pick who holed an eight-foot putt on the last to win the trophy, will again be her vice-captains.

"It seemed to work the first time, so I see no point in changing," she said while pointing out that the Norwegian would not be playing this time round after announcing her retirement immediately after Gleneagles.

Davies has said Matthew proved to be "a great captain", while Pettersen described the Scot as a "class act" and "Solheim Cup legend".

"Most of the players got in touch and said that they'd be happy for me to do it again and were hoping that I would do, so that definitely influenced me in wanting to do it again," Matthew added.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport