Golf

Catriona Matthew retains Solheim Cup captaincy for 2021 contest

Winning Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew has retained her role as European skipper for the 2021 contest in Ohio.

Matthew’s reappointment has been confirmed by the Ladies European Tour at Gleneagles, where the Scot led Europe to a thrilling one-point victory over Team USA following a dramatic finale in September.

Europe’s first Solheim Cup win since 2013 was described by Matthew as the pinnacle of her stellar career, even surpassing her 2009 Women’s British Open triumph, and she is now relishing the challenge of leading Europe to just their second win on US soil.

“Winning the Solheim Cup in Scotland was a dream come true, but backing that up with a win in America would be even better,” said Matthew, who was on three winning teams in her nine appearances as a player before enjoying a victorious debut as captain.

“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.

“The American team played extremely well at Gleneagles, but what we accomplished this year and what it meant to people all around the world, will serve as further motivation. 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!

“Anyone who witnessed the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland can be left in no doubt that it was an outstanding international event which set a new benchmark for women’s golf, but this is the beginning of a new, two-year journey, so I’m going to gather all my experience, take it forward and do my best to bring the trophy home to Europe again in 2021.”

Matthew’s decision to hand Suzann Pettersen a captain’s pick was met with criticism with the Norwegian having played little competitive golf for two years, but the selection proved inspirational as Pettersen holed a six-foot birdie putt to snatch victory for Europe on the final green at Gleneagles.

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Pettersen, who then announced her retirement from professional golf, said: “I’m thrilled that Catriona is returning as captain. She’s a class act and obviously inspires all the players and team members around her.

“She’s not only a Solheim Cup legend, but she’s also a great leader, friend and mother. She had the faith in me to choose me as a wildcard pick, for which I will forever be grateful and she deserves all the credit.”

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