Catriona Matthew's All Star European Team

Catriona Matthew believes her all-star backroom team could make a big difference at The Solheim Cup as she has Dame Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie and Mel Reid by her side at Gleneagles.

This means that there is no shortage of experience as the hosts seek to regain the trophy for the first time since 2013. Bronte Law, Celine Boutier and Anne Van Dam are the newcomers in a European team chasing its first victory in 6 years but if Matthew has any qualms about how they will handle the pressure she made a good job at hiding it during her first press conference of the week.

There are no less than nine rookies on the two teams. There are three on the European team and a record six in the American ranks now that Stacy Lewis has had to withdraw with a back injury and be replaced by Amy McDonald but that is not something either European captain Catriona Matthew or her US counterpart Juli Inkster is likely to lose any sleep over as the time ticks down to the start of the match on Friday.

 “I think we’ve got a great team here,” said the Scot, who captains the team after nine appearances playing in the match. “I suppose being a rookie is a slightly unknown quantity but they’re all excellent players and we’ve seen in the past some rookies come in and excel.

“Charley (Hull) and Georgia (Hall) came in and did really well and it is not as if Bronte, Celine and Anne are inexperienced. They’ve all been around a bit.”

Matthew knows the pressure will be ramped up to max this weekend so a carefully planned schedule of quiz nights, motivational videos and team dinners are keeping things relaxed at Gleneagles.

Davies, the leading points scorer in Solheim Cup history, believes Europe couldn't have a better captain when it comes to keeping cool in the white heat of competition.

"She brings a calmness to the team but she's a fierce competitor, make no mistake about that," she said.

"She wants to win this more than any of us. She's put a lot into this the last two years. She never shows anything, she just cruises along."

"It's very important we win it, but not for any other reason than we want to win and we don't want the Americans to do their three-peat, which they keep going on about.”

"I think we're a good bet because I think our squad, as Beany said, is really strong.”

"The American team is incredibly good too but on home soil, it evens out a bit."

"I think we've got the right players that can step up and do the job under the most extreme pressure. I think we've got a great chance."

After all the planning and preparation Matthew is finally happy to get playing as she starts to weigh her options for Friday's opening matches.

Adult tickets are available from just £25 with children under 16 able to attend for free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit www.solheimcup2019.com 

 

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