Colin Montgomerie backs Catriona Matthew in Solheim Cup bid
Montgomerie, who played in nine Ryder Cups before tasting success as captain at Celtic Manor in 2010, offered his help as he met up with Matthew this week to host a clinic for their sponsors, Aberdeen Standard Investments, at the Braid Hills Golf Centre in Edinburgh.
“I said to Catriona that I would be willing to help over the course and, if she picks up the phone, fine,” said Montgomerie, below. “But I don’t want to get in the way. I would never push that on her. She would have to come to me. I have a lot of experience having being involved in nine Ryder Cups. So, if she’s got some questions fire away, please.”
Matthew, who has also played in nine Solheim Cups, will be trying to steer Europe to a first victory in the event since 2013, when the North Berwick woman clinched the win in a halved singles match against Gerina Piller.
“I think she’s changing, more outgoing,” added Montgomerie of his compatriot. “She probably feels as captain that she has to give more. That’s one of the important aspects of captaincy. You’ve got to be seen and show your team that you’re confident, whether you are or not. If your captain isn’t confident, you are in big trouble.
“You are also a better captain the more respect you can get and I think she’s got a huge amount of respect from everybody in the ladies game – from both sides – because she’s done it properly.
“She’s played the game on and off the course properly. I don’t think she’s ever been given the credit she deserves for winning that Women’s British Open Championship [at Royal Lytham in 2009] 11 weeks after giving birth. Christ! It was fantastic.”
Matthew recently completed her backroom team for the match in Perthshire by naming Laura Davies as a third vice-captain, joining Kathryn Imrie and Suzann Pettersen.
“It’s good also to see Laura there with her as a vice-captain,” said Montgomerie. “I think that’s a real coup because Laura always said she wouldn’t get involved in that type of environment.
“She was never one to be giving away sandwiches or handing out umbrellas, and I can understand that. But good on her, coming on board to help a friend. Great.
“It’s a tough ask in September because the Americans are tough playing together on the one tour while we are a wee bit separated.
“But it would be super to have a double at Gleneagles, the men in 2014 and then hopefully the ladies.”