World Number Ten Catriona Matthew feels ready to build on the success of Europe’s recent Solheim Cup victory in Colorado by collecting a second Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open title this week.
The 44-year-old Scot won her national Open two years ago at Archerfield Links in East Lothian, just a few miles from her home in North Berwick.
After a return from Canada and a couple of night’s sleep in her own bed, she told the media that she is ready to win again, especially after the euphoria of Europe’s first victory on US soil.
“I’ve obviously been pretty busy since The Solheim and the week after. It was a fantastic week and very fresh in my mind,” she said. “I’m still quite tired from it. I don’t think anyone expected Europe to win 18-10. Obviously we thought we would win, but I don’t think even we thought we would beat them quite so badly.
“It’s up there with one of the best. It’s very different winning a Solheim to winning an individual event when you’ve got 11 other players, caddies, captains and helpers, so more people to celebrate with.
“I’ve had a couple of good nights’ sleep so I think I’m over the jet lag. I practised a little bit yesterday and played nine holes today.”
When asked the key to Europe’s success – and the record eight point margin of victory – Matthew said: “I think our rookies outplayed their rookies and that made a big difference. I played with Charley (Hull), Jodi (Ewart-Shadoff) and Caroline (Masson). I wouldn’t say that you’re giving them advice because they are all very good players. The first tee is always the most nerve wracking and once you’re out on the golf course you get on with it.”
Asked if she still gets nervous after seven Solheim Cup appearances, she replied: “Oh definitely. You obviously get more nervous competing in a team event because you’ve got 11 people you could let down whereas when it’s yourself it’s only you that you’re playing for, so you’ve got that added pressure. I think a deep breath. The more times you’ve been there it does make it a little bit easier because you do know what to expect.”
Matthew has been tipped as a future captain, but in her current rich vein of form, she is already looking forward to the next Solheim Cup at St. Leon-Rot in Germany in two years’ time.
“I certainly feel that I’d like to be playing on the team in 2015,” she said. At 46, she would not be the oldest player in Solheim Cup history.
That accolade belongs to American Juli Inkster, who was 51 when she played in Ireland in 2011, while Laura Davies was 47 years and 11 months when she played against Inkster the same year, as a member of the victorious European Team.