European captain Catriona Matthew has named fellow Scot Kathryn Imrie and Norway’s
Suzann Pettersen as her first two vice captains for next year’s Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.
Matthew announced the appointments in the build up to this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane, where she was joined by long-time friend Imrie while Pettersen, who is due to give birth next monh, joined a press conference over the telephone.
“I am delighted to have Kathryn and Suzann alongside me on the journey to the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles,” said Matthew, a nine-time Solheim Cup player and the second Scot to captain Europe after Dale Reid at Loch Lomond in 2000.
“They both possess considerable experience and will be huge assets over the next 14 months as we look to bring the trophy home to Europe.”
Imrie, who came through the amateur ranks with Matthew when she played out of Monifieth, played in the 1996 contest at St Pierre in Wales.
She also featured in the 1994 match as a reserve at The Greenbrier in West Virginia before being a “helper” for Annika Sorenstam in the match at Des Moines last year.
“I am super excited and extremely honoured to be Beany’s vice-captain,” said the 51-year-old from Dundee. “I see my role as a vice captain to be exactly what vice captains do, and that is to support the captain.
“As one of her closest friends it will be easy to be her sounding board and to offer opinions and suggestions about all aspects of her captaincy. The captain has a big job to do and I am sure Beany will have her plan of exactly what she expects of me.
I just want to do the best job possible so we can pick the strongest team and then guide them to get the Cup back during the week of the event. I can’t wait for September 2019.”
Pettersen, a former world No 2, has made eight Solheim Cup appearances as a player and featured in three victorious European teams, winning 19 points from her 14 matches.
The 37-year-old was also a vice captain to Annika Sorenstam at Des Moines after she was forced to withdraw due to a back injury and was replaced in the squad by Matthew.
“It’s an extreme honour to be able to assist Beany on her captaincy,” she said. “The Solheim Cup has definitely been the highlight of my career and to be able to help the team bring the trophy back would mean a lot to me.
“I’ve been on many teams alongside Beany and I have the utmost respect for her as a player and as a friend. She is a world class player and a true sportswoman both on and off the course and I am sure she will bring those values to the team.”