Catriona Matthew’s sights set on Asia ‘major’

Catriona Matthew: Two 65s. Picture: Neil Hanna
Catriona Matthew: Two 65s. Picture: Neil Hanna
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CATRIONA Matthew, back up to world No 10 after finishing like a train in Thailand last weekend, set out today aiming to add Asia’s “women’s major” to her impressive CV.

The HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore has attracted a top-class field, with Matthew paired in the first two rounds with world No 2 Suzann Pettersen and former top-ranked player Yani Tseng.

“I’ve been playing really well, including the cut I missed in my first outing of the season in Australia, and two 65s to finish, as I had in Thailand, really moves you up the leaderboard,” said Matthew, who finished third behind Swede Anna Nordqvist on the back of those stunning efforts in the LPGA Honda event. “I’d just had a couple of silly shots on the first two days but I hit it closer and also putted better on the last two.”

American Stacy Lewis defends the title, having won over the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club 12 months ago before going on to be crowned Women’s British Open champion at St Andrews. “I think the course is going to play a lot tougher this year as it’s been a bit breezier so far this week and it will be interesting to see what the scoring will be like,” added Matthew, who returns home for a fortnight after this event before making her first trip of the season to America.

Meanwhile, HSBC’s sponsorship chief has urged Tiger Woods to respect the bank’s large investment by playing at this year’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai instead of “meaningless. . . money-making opportunities”.

Giles Morgan, HSBC’s global head of sponsorship, said the bank had “had words” with the golf tours about impressing on players the importance of appearing at the sport’s biggest events.

World No 1 Woods has caused controversy by skipping the last two editions of the $8.5 million tournament, the richest seen in Asia, in favour of exhibition appearances in the region.