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Preview interview with Catriona Matthew at the Ricoh Women´s British Open
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COLIN CALLANDER:   Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Ricoh Women's British Open.  We have the 2009 champion, Catriona Matthew, here with us.  She is just off the course.  Can you give your thoughts on the golf course this week?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, the course is in fantastic shape.  The greens, fairways, are really good.  I would say it's playing probably a little softer than the last two times we played here.  It's definitely greener and the rough definitely thicker than it's been the last couple times we were here.

            I mean, this morning we played in perfect conditions, no wind, and I would say  it's still a challenge.  So you're going to have to play really well around here, keep it out of the rough.

            COLIN CALLANDER:   You came in here straight off a Top‑10 at the U.S. Women's Open.  Are you pleased with the way you're playing at the moment?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, pleased with how I'm playing.  Played well all year.  The weeks I've been up there have been the weeks I've putted a bit better.  Comes down to how I putt.  And you're going to have though drive well this week and keep it on the fairways, and at the end of the day, it always comes down to who holes the most putts.

            THE COLIN CALLANDER:  Playing here three times in the past, do you think that's going to be a factor this week?  It is quite a difficult course to get around.

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I don't think that will be a huge factor.  I think people get to know the courses pretty well; after two or three practise rounds you know where not to go.

 

            Q.  Just wonder how you balance your life being a mother and wife and playing a full schedule.  How do you make it all work?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I think obviously it's very busy.  Even when I'm at home I probably don't practise as much as most people.  Certainly come August, our youngest starts school, so I'll have from 9.00 top 3.00 to squeeze everything in.  The last few years it's been from 9.00 to 1.00.  You just try to make your practise a little bit more quality than the length of it.  You get around it.

 

            Q.  What's your schedule now?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Well, I'm playing this week and then I'm having three weeks off.  So going home for three weeks after this, which will be nice.

 

            Q.  Don't infer anything by the start of this question when I mention something Juli Inkster said ‑‑ I don't want to put you in the same group ‑‑

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  It's quite nice to be linked with Juli.


            Q.  In most regards, yes.  She made an interesting point at Pinehurst a few weeks ago, that she wouldn't want to have to start all over again right now.  I wonder if you can draw on any of your experiences, would you like to be 18, 19, 20 years old, and starting your career now, how would it compare to when you did start your career?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I probably wouldn't want to start again either to be honest.  I think probably if you were at that stage now, it's a lot more difficult to probably try and combine having a family because there's a lot more travel involved.

            When I first started, we would go over to the States for six months and just travel around by car, which is a lot easier now.  There's a lot more travel which obviously makes it more difficult if you're having a family.

            Yeah, I think the Tour has progressed a ton.  It's my 20th year now, and the standard has improved I would say greatly in the last 20 years, just the depth of it, and obviously the players are coming from all over the world.

            When I first started, it was probably most of Americans and a few Europeans so you really do have the best in the world now.  So you've really got to be very committed to do well.

 

            Q.  Is it more of a job than it was when you started?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Probably, yeah.  I mean, you obviously learn from experience and do things slightly differently, but yeah, I would say it probably is.  It's much more, people are coming out far better groomed.  They have all their coaches and fitness people, physios.  Now it's very much more of a production line of people coming out.

 

            Q.  You mention your reservations about the R&A's all‑male status in the past.  Are you happy there's a chance to change that?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I think it's great.  I think the R&A should remember it governs the world of golf everywhere apart from the U.S. and Canada.  I think they should have lady members, and hopefully they will vote that way in September.

 

            Q.  Would you like to get the first invitation?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I'd be delighted.  I'd be very honoured, yeah.

 

            Q.  Did you seek out a thoroughly‑modern husband or were you just lucky?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, just been lucky.

 

            Q.  How different was his style of life from his father's?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I guess it's very different.  Obviously I couldn't have done it without Graeme's help over the years.  He's been obviously very supportive and now he's become at home looking after the children more, which he's finding is harder work than caddying.  He often said he would quit caddying for me, but I think he'd rather come back caddying now.

            But yeah, obviously you need great support from your family if you're going to do well, so I've been very lucky.

            COLIN CALLANDER:   Would Graeme like to be called a thoroughly‑modern husband?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  You'd need to ask him.

 

            Q.  What do you know now that you wish you'd known 20 years ago?  What would you have done different if you could?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I think I know a lot more about my golf swing now.  I think with the advances in coaching and the video now, my swing is so much better now than it was when I first came out.  I think if I had that opportunity perhaps at 15, 16, to have come out with a great swing, that have been a big help.

 

            Q.  We talk so much about equipment.  How much of the game is advanced because of what you said a minute ago, the production line, especially the coaching.  We looked at the little 11‑year‑old who started working with Jim McClean when she was eight.  Who were you working with at age eight?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I don't know if I was getting coaching at age eight.  Yeah, obviously things have improved a ton, especially in coaching.  The video now, you can see what you're trying to do.

            When I first started playing, I remember my first coach, he said ‑‑ his favourite thing was get your left shoulder underneath your chin and that was about all.  It was very much more by feel.  That's why I think everyone has kind of different‑looking swings then.  Now with the video analysis, everyone has very similar swings.

 

            Q.  To the course, how much, when it's like this, a little healthier, the grass; does distance matter how much more, or does it?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I think the course is definitely playing longer than it has in the past.  Definitely you're not getting as much roll on the fairways.  And I mean, yeah, there's some tough holes out there.  The fairways are I would say fairly tight.  Obviously on a lot of these courses, you miss the bunkers but here you've got to miss the bunkers and the rough.

            So I think you're really going to have to play well to have a good score around here, and especially if the wind blows.

 

            Q.  Looking at the sort of 20‑year span, are you enjoying it still as much or more?

            CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Fortunately I'm enjoying it just as much as I did then.  I've been always very competitive, and I've been fortunate that I'm still playing fairly decent.  I think as long as you're playing well, it's a very tough life if you're not playing well.  So I've been lucky that I've played well over the years. 

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Lacoste Ladies Open de France
Chantaco Golf Club
Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Aquitaine, France
02/10/14 - 05/10/14
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Lacoste Ladies Open de France
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