Decision to name Scots star Catriona as skipper for 2019 match at Gleneagles welcomed by English stars
By Martin Inglis
English golfers have hailed the appointment of Catriona Matthew as the European captain for the 2019 Solheim Cup match at Gleneagles.
Matthew, 48, succeeds Annika Sorenstam in the post in a move that has been widely welcomed.
Georgia Hall, a teammate of Matthew’s in this year’s match, was one of the first to offer her congratulations on Twitter and said she was ‘so happy’ for the Scot. Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, who also featured in Iowa, commented on the official announcement from the Ladies European Tour Twitter account, saying: “Absolutely love this”.
Always a heavy favourite to land the role once it was announced that the biennial match would be heading to Scotland, Matthew recently competed in her ninth and final Solheim Cup as a player after coming into Annika Sorenstam’s team as a late replacement for Suzann Pettersen.
The Scot proved to be one of the stars of the team, earning three points for Europe from her four matches, but afterwards called time on her Solheim Cup playing career - paving the way to take the reins of the team at Gleneagles in just under two years’ time.
“It’s a great honour and a dream come true to be the captain at home in Scotland,” said Matthew,” who with 22 points is third on the all-time Solheim Cup list after Laura Davies (25) and Annika Sorenstam (24).
“Since my first appearance in 1998, I have always loved playing in the Solheim Cup. It’s always such an incredible atmosphere and over the years that I’ve played, I’ve enjoyed it more and more.
“From the extremely high standard of play, to the enormous crowds, huge infrastructure and fantastic media coverage, the event just keeps getting bigger and better.
“Scotland will provide the perfect stage for the 2019 Solheim Cup and Gleneagles will be a terrific venue. I was lucky enough to win there in 1998 and there is nothing better than winning in your home country.”
Outgoing captain, Annika Sörenstam, who was also Matthew’s first Solheim Cup partner at Muirfield Village in 1998, said: “Catriona has had a wonderful Solheim Cup career and deserves the opportunity to take on this prestigious role. She is very well respected by the players, so she is a natural choice.”
Ping chairman & CEO John Solheim added: “As a nine-time participant in the Solheim Cup with an incredible record of 18-11-8, Catriona brings tremendous experience to a team that is determined to reclaim the event on home soil.
“I’ve long admired Catriona’s calm, quiet and thoughtful approach to the game which will serve her very well as she prepares and motivates her team to reach its goal of winning The Solheim Cup.”