Catriona Matthew left fellow Scot Michele Thomson pinching herself in the build up to this week’s ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at Royal Adelaide, writes Martin Dempster.
“Thanks for the round today. It was amazing to play with my idol,” wrote Thomson, who is making her debut on the LPGA Tour, in a message to long-time Scottish No 1 Matthew on Twitter.
The practice round for Thomson came a day after the Meldrum House-attached player had grabbed an impromptu photograph with world No 1 Lydia Ko in the locker-room and she added: “This @Womens AusOpen just keeps getting better.”
Matthew, who tied for ninth at last year’s event, which was held at The Grange Golf Club, literally across the road from Royal Adelaide, is making her first appearance of the season.
“I’ve always liked coming to down here – my brother lives in Sydney – and obviously winning my first ever tournament at Yarra Yarra [in Melbourne] was special,” said the 47-year-old. “It’s my first tournament out so you never quite know, but I’m hitting it well so we’ll just see what it’s like with a scorecard in my hand.
“The greens on this course are small and, if the wind blows it will get pretty tough. It’s not overly long but I think it’s going to be all in the second shots and how you get on the greens.”
The North Berwick woman will definitely be involved in September’s Solheim Cup clash in Iowa, having been named by European skipper Annika Sorenstam as one of her vice-captains, but her sights are set on a ninth playing appearance in the biennial match.
“I think you start every year hoping to win so that’s going to be my goal for this year – to get a win – and make the Solheim Cup team,” added Matthew, who is paired with Beatriz Recari from Spain and Californian Danielle Kang in the first two rounds in an event that starts tomorrow.