Catriona Matthew isn’t expecting much Solheim Cup chat with Juli Inkster over the next two days due to the pair still believing they can be competitive at the top level.
The two captains for next year’s team clash at Gleneagles have been paired together in the opening 36 holes of the ANA Inspiration, the opening women’s major of the year, in California.
It will be the first time they have played in the same group since their respective appointments - and is likely to be the first of many such encounters between now and next August.
“I’ve always liked playing with Juli as she’s good fun,” said Matthew. “We’ve played together a lot over the years so I am looking forward to it.
“I don’t think there will be too much Solheim Cup chat, though. I think we will both be focusing on our games out there. I think I might be playing with her quite a lot this year!”
Matthew first played in this week’s event at Mission Hills County Club in Rancho Mirage back in 1998 and finished joint-second in 2007.
She recorded four top-15s in a row between 2012 and 2015 and is feeling encouraged about her game after tying for 20th in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix a fortnight ago.
“I’ve been pleased with my game,” said the North Berwick woman. “I’m playing a lot better than I did last year and feel I am hitting the ball well.
“I putted well at the Founders while the greens last week (for the Kia Classic) are always a bit hit or miss due to the poa annua, so I am feeling confident coming into this one.
“I drove here on Saturday before doing some practice on Sunday. The greens are fast here for this week and the course is in best shape I’ve seen it for a few years.
“I’ve played here so many times now and it is always nice to come back to courses that you know well.”
Matthew is the sole Scot in the field due to Gemma Dryburgh, a new LPGA Tour card holder this season, failing to secure a spot.