Solheim Cup 2017: Catriona Matthew targets Gleneagles captaincy

Catriona Matthew was hoping to play in the Solheim Cup for a ninth time but missed out

Catriona Matthew is targeting the captaincy at Gleneagles in 2019 to make up for missing out on the European team for this week’s Solheim Cup.

The Scot hopes she will gain the necessary experience as vice-captain to Annika Sorenstam to emerge as the successor in front of her home fans.

“Obviously I’ll learn a lot this week from Anneka and being vice-captain,” the 47-year-old told BBC Scotland.

“And I’ll put my name forward for the captaincy and see what happens.”

Matthew had hoped to be competing in the Solheim Cup for a ninth time despite dropping to 98th in the world rankings.

But she wasn’t one of Sorenstam’s wild card picks to face the United States in Des Moines, Iowa, and does not expect to in the running to play in the event when it next comes to Scotland.

“I think this was probably my last chance of getting in,” she said.

“You obviously always have that hope, but I haven’t played particularly well this year.

“At the moment, I am concentrating on Des Moines and my vice-captaincy there, but I probably don’t see myself playing in the team in 2019.”

Matthew had always expected to miss out on playing at Gleneagles and instead had targeted some kind of behind-the-scenes role.

Now she has admitted that she will be eyeing the captaincy after learning from Sorenstam.

“It’s obviously a different role, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll learn a lot about what happens behind the scenes,” said Matthew, who expects to be involved in mentoring some of Europe’s rookies and helping with team selection.

“It is my favourite week of the year and to be involved in it in any way is always great fun.”

Carly Booth (right) is the best-placed Scot at 25 in the European rankings

With Matthew missing out on selection along with Carly Booth, Kylie Henry and Pamela Prestwell, Scotland do not have a representative in the 12-strong European team.

“This is the first Solheim Cup that hasn’t had a Scot in the team, which is quite a feat for us being such a small country,” said the team vice-captain.

“It is a worry that there is no-one coming through at the moment really.

“Obviously, we’ve had Carly, Kylie and Pamela who’ve all done well in Europe and then just never quite made it to the next level.

“From what I hear, we’ve got a few good juniors, so hopefully one of them will make that transition to the top level.”

The USA won back the cup with the narrowest winning margin in history two years ago in Germany and Matthew admits that, “on paper”, the home side will be favourites.

“Their world rankings are certainly averaging out higher than our ones, but match play is very different from stroke-play and, of all the ones I’ve played in, it all comes down to sometimes who holes the crucial putt at the right time to create momentum,” she added.

“The Solheim has grown in each one I’ve played in since ’98. it’s got bigger and bigger and it’s definitely an advantage in playing at home as the crowds certainly get behind their home team.

“It was a tough loss in Germany after taking a big lead into the singles and then losing, so we are all up for taking it back.”

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