Catriona Matthew-led Solheim Cup victory is commemorated with a statue at Gleneagles
Catriona Matthew, Europe’s Solheim Cup captain, has been back at Gleneagles, the scene of her team’s dramatic 2019 victory over the United States, to unveil a special commemorative sculpture called ‘Match’.
It has been created by Jephson Robb, one of only a few Scottish artists to have work in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
At 1.75 metres tall, referencing the average height of the competitors in the event, the stainless-steel mirror polished sculpture sits atop a Scottish Whinstone circular plinth.
It has been inscribed with the names of players, captains and assistants and the 14½-13½ final score on the PGA Centenary Course, where the sculpture is situated alongside the opening tee.
Unveiling the sculpture, Matthew said: “Team Europe’s victory on Scottish soil will always remain one of the greatest achievements of my career.
“I’m sure this wonderful sculpture will also remind the many thousands who visit Gleneagles each year, of a truly exceptional Solheim Cup I will certainly never forget.”
The sculpture will be a lasting reminder of the event, which attracted more than 90,000 spectators, a record attendance for a women’s UK golf tournament.
Robb took inspiration for the sculpture from Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, one of Matthew’s picks, holing the winning putt on the final green for Team Europe.
“Several times I watched that final moment of the finesse of a delicate putt that decided who won and it struck me just how much golf is a sport of two games: powerful driving and skilful putting,” he said.
“My starting point for the shape was the circular shape of the golf swing. The overall spherical nature of the sculpture makes references to the global nature of the competition as well as to a golf ball.
“The circular plinth is a direct reference to the hole and, specifically, the final putt at the final hole that decided the winner.”
The sculpture also contains a number of hidden elements, namely a Saltire, the profile of a cup, and two matching hearts going against each other, a nod to the event’s love and rivalry. In naming it ‘Match’, Jephson also took inspiration from beyond the Solheim Cup itself.
He added: “Of course, its name acknowledges the staging of this truly incredible match play event at Gleneagles, but for me, ‘Match’ has a number of other important meanings.
“It represents the strong bond Karsten Solheim, who’s family founded the event, had with his wife, Louise; their commercial ‘Match’ with professional golfers when developing their first PING putters in the 1960s; and, on a very personal level, Gleneagles is where I married my ‘Match’.”
Gleneagles is the only venue in Europe to have hosted both the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup, which was held there in 2014 and also delivered a European victory for a team led by Paul McGinley.
Conor O’Leary, managing director at Gleneagles, said: “Jephson’s sculpture is a fitting and lasting celebration to one of the greatest modern moments in women’s team sport.
“We hope many thousands of people enjoy viewing it and take time to reflect on a truly remarkable event that showcased everything that is great about the sport of golf and how it continues to captivate us all.”
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