Catriona Matthew’s credentials to captain Europe in the Solheim Cup on Scottish soil have been rubber-stamped by Annika Sorenstam, the newly-appointed incumbent for next year’s match in Iowa, writes Martin Dempster.
“If Catriona wants it [the post at Gleneagles in 2019], I think it would be terrific,” Sorenstam, the former women’s world No 1, told Scotland on Sunday under the oak tree that is golf’s epicentre during Masters week. “Obviously it is in her home country and there’s no doubt that Catriona would bring a lot to the table. I’ve not had a chance to talk to Catriona about her future plans, but there’s certainly no reason why she shouldn’t be the next captain after me.”
Firstly, though, the Swede expects Matthew to put in a strong bid to make a ninth playing appearance in the biennial event as part of her team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club next August. “I am sure she will be trying very hard indeed and I will be watching her very closely,” admitted Sorenstam, still one of the sport’s most recognised faces. “She brings a lot to a team in terms of experience and so forth, so it will be interesting to see if she can get on to the side again next year.
“I noticed that Catriona recently received a lifetime achievement award and I congratulate her for that. She’s one of those players that just loves to play golf. She has been very consistent and is quite a competitor. She still loves to be up there in the heat of the battle. I could tell that when she got off to a good start in the ANA Inspiration last week. She was right up there in the opening round.”