Catriona Matthew has been re-appointed as Europe's Solheim Cup captain, admitting that it would be "even better" than tasting victory at Gleneagles this year if she could repeat the feat on US soil.
The 50-year-old has been handed that chance at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio, in the 2021 match after leading the Europeans to a sensational 14½-13½ win at the Perthshire venue in September.
Back there for today's announcement by the Ladies European Tour, Matthew said she was excited to have been handed the opportunity to become Europe’s first multiple Solheim Cup-winning captain.
“Winning the Solheim Cup in Scotland was a dream come true, but backing that up with a win in America would be even better," said the North Berwick woman.
“It’s always harder to win on US soil, but I’m honoured to be tasked with the mission. I was lucky enough to be part of the first European team to win on US soil at Colorado Golf Club in 2013 and so know what’s possible."
This year's match, which was the highest-attended women’s golf event ever held in the UK and the most-widely watched on television, produced a dramatic finish as Norwegian Suzann Pettersen clinched victory with the final putt.
“The American team played extremely well at Gleneagles, but what we accomplished this year and what it meant to people all around the world, will serve as further motivation," added Matthew.
"I’m excited to get down to business, build the next team and see what Europe is capable of at Inverness Club. It’s a very Scottish name, so I’m hoping that’s a good omen!
“Anyone who witnessed the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland can be left in no doubt that it was an outstanding international event which set a new benchmark for women’s golf.
"But this is the beginning of a new, two-year journey, so I’m going to gather all my experience, take it forward and do my best to bring the trophy home to Europe again in 2021.”
The Scot's re-appointment has been welcomed by both Pettersen, who could also have been a contender after retiring immediately after the Gleneagles match, and former world No 1 Laura Davies.
“I’m thrilled that Catriona is returning as captain," said Pettersen, who was one of the Scot's wildcards despite the fact she'd hardly played in 2019. "She’s a class act and obviously inspires all the players and team members around her.
"She’s not only a Solheim Cup legend, but she’s also a great leader, friend and mother. She had the faith in me to choose me as a wildcard pick, for which I will forever be grateful and she deserves all the credit.”
Davies, one of Matthew's assistant captains in Perthshire and almost certain to fill that position again in 2021, added: “Everyone enjoyed the match at Gleneagles so much and I think that Catriona was such a great captain that she deserves the chance to go and get the trophy back again. I am looking forward to another terrific contest in Ohio.”
Today's announcement was also given the thumbs up by Ping chairman and CEO John Solheim, who said: “I’m very pleased Catriona has agreed to captain the European Solheim Cup team in 2021 at Inverness Club.
“The leadership she showed in Gleneagles played a significant role in her team’s thrilling victory.
"She created a very cohesive team that had tremendous belief and confidence in their ability to win matches when it mattered most.
"Bringing that winning experience to America under her guidance will serve the European team very well as they set out to successfully defend the Solheim Cup.”
The 2021 match takes place on 4-6 September.