Catriona Matthew set for Solheim Cup scouting mission at Gleneagles

Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew is looking forward to watching the action in next month's inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles. Picture: Tristan Jones
Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew is looking forward to watching the action in next month's inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles. Picture: Tristan Jones
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Catriona Matthew will be on a Solheim Cup scouting mission at the inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles next month.

The event, which will see men and women play together in a 50-50 split for equal prize-money for the first time, is being played on the PGA Centenary course at the Perthshire venue.

That will also be the venue for next year’s Solheim Cup, which will see Matthew captain Europe for the first time in the biennial match against the United States.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Europe’s leading female players to reinforce how strong the women’s game is by playing alongside men and to continue to raise the profile of women’s golf on an international stage,” said the North Berwick woman.

“These opportunities don’t come around very often and I’m looking forward to seeing the teams go head-to-head. I’ll also be using it as an opportunity to keep an eye on some of the prospective European Solheim Cup team members to see how they fare over the PGA Centenary Course in competitive action.”

Part of the multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships, the new event in 8-12 August is backed by both the European Tour and Ladies European Tour.

The format features a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize-money in both a men’s and women’s team match-play championship as well as an 18-hole foursomes stroke-play mixed team championship.

Qualification for the event will be via the European Golf Team Championships points tables for men and women.

They are based on men’s Official World Golf Rankings and women’s Rolex Rankings earned from tournaments finishing between 10 July 2017 and 9 July 2018, with a maximum of three teams representing any one nation in each event. Deadline for close of entries is 12 July.

Also looking forward to the event is Paul Lawrie, who won the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship on the Centenary Course to cement a second Ryder Cup appearance and is also the Gleneagles golf ambassdor.

“It is a great feeling representing your country, particularly in such an individual event as golf and playing as part of a team is not something you get to do very often as a professional golfer,” said the 1999 Open champion.

“The chance to play in the first-ever European Golf Team Championships and to be part of history is something special as well as a great opportunity for players who have aspirations of playing in a Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup team.

“Gleneagles is a special place to play golf and the players will have a fantastic experience. It is an exciting course on which to play match play golf with so many risk and reward holes and a very exciting finish.”

* Tickets are now on sale for the European Golf Team Championships with adult prices from £10 for practice days and £15 on competition days. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.