Matthew buoyed by memories of 2009 victory
Catriona Matthew was in relaxed spirits as she met the media ahead of the 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links.
Q. We welcome Catriona Matthew, the 2009 champion, here today. Also an ambassador for Carnoustie country, I believe. This must bring back a lot of great memories for you.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, it's great to be back here again. I played a lot here as an amateur, played the Scottish Ladies here, so locking forward to playing here. I played a few months ago just to refresh my memory with it, but the course is in great shape, played yesterday, and really looking forward to playing.
Q. What is it about this course that stands out as far as you're concerned?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think it's just probably one of the best links courses in Scotland, just difficult with the bunkering off the tee, and the greens are fairly tricky to get into if you get out of position. I suppose you just need to try and hit the fairways and that gives you the best shot into the greens.
Q. There's a suggestion in some of the Scottish papers today that the head greenkeeper John Philp has presented a watered‑down version of Carnoustie, not the real Carnoustie.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously that's his opinion. I obviously didn't play here when the men played when it was kind of named "Car‑nasty." It'll still be a tough test. Like any links course, it depends on the wind. If there's no wind on a links course, none of them are overly difficult. But they're kind of designed and set up to play probably in a bit of a breeze.
Q. Did you win any amateur titles here?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I won the Scottish Ladies, maybe '91, early '90s.
Q. Obviously you've got that win, but it was some time ago...
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Only two years.
Q. How much can you thrive on obviously the victory at Lytham? When you arrive here, how much does that stir the emotions and boost the confidence?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think it probably helps me relax a little bit more. Obviously playing in this event there's probably a little bit of added pressure with it being your home nature. So nice to have won it, and it definitely lets me relax a little bit more and enjoy the event more.
Q. What sort of player do you think will do well here this week? What does it take to play Carnoustie?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think you've just got to drive the ball well. I think if you can ‑‑ from playing yesterday, if you drove the ball well, you had a lot of birdie chances out there. I think if you can drive it well and keep it out of the bunkers, that gives you a great chance.
Q. You've been playing pretty solidly this year. How do you fancy your chances?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I feel as if I've been playing really well this year. Worked hard on my swing over the last year and feel as if I'm hitting it as well as I ever have done. Yeah, I've been playing well, so yeah, my chances are pretty good if I can hole some putts. That's what it comes down to in the end.
Q. Could I just ask about this season, how difficult it is now with the girls getting older and travelling? There's not so many runs in America. Just talk about the season.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, they've probably come now to ‑‑ it's obviously more difficult with over overseas events and things, but they've probably come to about 60 per cent of the events. We were all just out in America for six weeks, so it's certainly different travelling with four of us, but you kind of adapt and get used to it.
These two weeks we're just on our own, so it's a little bit more relaxing. But it was good fun travelling with them. But it's nice at times to have a week on your own. They're enjoying being spoilt by their grandparents.
Q. What does being a Carnoustie ambassador involve exactly?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Really just to try and promote just necessarily just Carnoustie but the whole area. Obviously there are a lot of good other golf courses in this area. Playing in a America a lot, that's obviously where the bulk of the visitors come from, to try and encourage them to come over and play, not necessarily just Carnoustie but Montrose and Monifieth and all the other good courses in this area.
Q. Do you think you’ll have an advantage with an early start?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I expect it to, yeah, early start. Links golf that seems like the best time to play. Obviously you never know, you can have a good draw or a bad draw; a lot depends on the weather, but certainly playing early can sometimes be an advantage and get out maybe before the wind picks up or maybe the rain comes tomorrow.
Q. What time does that mean getting up?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Not that early. I have it down to a fine art. Probably about maybe 5:00. I don't get up too early. Used to these early starts now.