Catriona Matthew is ready for major challenge in wind

Catriona Matthew will play in the first major of the season in California.  Picture: Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Catriona Matthew will play in the first major of the season in California. Picture: Donald Miralle/Getty Images
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A decade after tieing for 
second in the event, Catriona Matthew is hoping she can tame high winds in the Californian desert to go one better in this week’s ANA Inspiration, the opening major of the 2017 season.

Gusts between 45-60mph are forecast for today and tomorrow at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, where world No 1 Lydia Ko defends the title. “I’m very excited,” said Matthew, pictured, of starting her latest campaign in the majors, having landed the Women’s British Open at 
Royal Lytham in 2009.

“I’ve always enjoyed this course and this place, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“It’s already been windy earlier in the week and also supposed to be on Thursday and Friday, so that will be a challenge. 
Everyone says it never gets windy over here but I’ve played in enough wind here to know that’s not the case.”

The 47-year-old believes “women’s golf is on the up”, having seen an impressive standard of play on the LPGA so far this season. “Everyone is upping their game and I’ll have to keep working away,” she added.

England’s Charley Hull, joint second last year, is also in the field, as is Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen.