Catriona Matthew keen on role in Europe's 2019 Solheim Cup team at Gleneagles

By Rhona McLeodBBC Scotland
Catriona Matthew
Scotland's Catriona Matthew hopes to be involved in Europe's 2019 Solheim Cup team

Catriona Matthew says she would "like to be involved" in Europe's Solheim Cup team when the tournament comes to Scotland.

Gleneagles will host the biennial women's matchplay event in 2019 as Scotland stages the event for the first time since 2000.

Scot Matthew is vice-captain for this year's Solheim Cup in Iowa.

"Realistically, I can't see myself playing in it, so perhaps [in] another role," the 47-year-old said.

"It's fantastic to have the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles after the Ryder Cup [in 2014]. They'll know how to do it and it will be a great success.

"Any time you play in front of your home crowd is great. You don't get to do it often, so to be in a Solheim Cup in your home country will be amazing."

Matthew has played in eight Solheim Cups, earning 19 points from 33 matches, and will assist Annika Sorenstam when Europe try to regain the trophy at Des Moines in August.

The 2009 Women's British Open winner believes there is a rich seam of young talent for the European team to select from, but admits to being "disappointed" at the lack of Scottish women breaking into the LPGA Tour in America, where she has won four times.

Catriona Matthew
Matthew played for Europe when they lost the 2015 Solheim Cup in Germany

"Since I went on the LPGA we've had myself, Kathryn Imrie, Janice Moody and Mhairi McKay and since then we've not really had anyone progress on to the LPGA, which in women's golf is the top tour to be on," Matthew said.

"We've got a few now on the European Tour and hopefully they can push on and get to the next level. But we do seem to be lacking in numbers.

"I don't know [why]. I'm a little bit involved with Scottish amateur golf, and they have the facilities, the back-up, it's just trying to encourage the girls to come and play.

"They get plenty of boys, but trying to encourage girls into any sport - whether it's a cultural thing, I don't quite know what it is."

Matthew believes the growing number of Korean golfers in the world rankings - six in the top 10, including number one So Yeon Ryu - is due to the sport's higher profile in South Korea.

"It gets a much higher media exposure, women's golf in Korea is one of their main sports, male or female," Matthew added.

"The players are better known and when young girls see that, they can aspire to that when they see the role models and it gives them something to aim for.

"It's a very different culture, just watching the interaction between the daughters and particularly the fathers, who are always out on tour."

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