‘Not bad’ says Catriona Matthew of season

Catriona Matthew: 11th in world. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Catriona Matthew: 11th in world. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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IT’S not Catriona Matthew’s style to blow her own trumpet. Which is why she decided to answer being asked to sum up her 2013 campaign with a question of her own.

“No 11 in the world, part of a winning Solheim Cup on US soil for the first time in history and holing the winning putt, winning the Scottish Open and beaten in a play-off at the LPGA Championship. Not bad?” was the North Berwick woman’s reponse. When it was suggested that might be an understatement, she admitted: “Well, I would agree. I was just interested to see how you would rate it!”

Matthew’s reluctance to sing her own praises is understandable. The 44-year-old rarely gets the credit she deserves and this season has been no exception.

At a time when the women’s professional game is more competitive than ever, it’s no mean feat to be finishing the year as close as she is the world’s top ten. Neither is claiming 21st spot on the LPGA Tour money list with earnings of just under $650,000.

To put those achievements into perspective, England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff, lying 52nd, is the closest British player to Matthew in the world rankings and also finished eight places below the Scot on the money-list.

“The exciting thing is that I feel I have my best stuff ahead of me,” added Matthew, who returned to East Lothian yesterday after signing off with a six-under 66 in the final LPGA Tour event of the season, the CME Group Titleholders in Florida.

Next season marks her 20th anniversary as a member of the LPGA Tour. It will coincide with a fattened up circuit following last week’s announcement that the 2014 schedule will feature 32 events – four more than this year.

One significant change is the Women’s British Open moving forward a month because of the Commonwealth Games. It will be held on 10-13 July – the same time as the Scottish Open in Aberdeen. “Absolutely,” said Matthew when it was put to her that an extended schedule was good news. “It flows nicely, too.” She has one 2013 event left – an invitational tournament in Taiwan next week – then is done for the year. “I’m missing the opening 2014 event in Bahamas and starting in Australia,” she added.