Catriona Matthew “100 per cent under-rated”, says Paula Creamer

Paula Creamer has praised Catriona Matthew, below

Paula Creamer has praised Catriona Matthew, below

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Catriona Matthew is “100 per cent under-rated”, according to one of the American stars the North Berwick woman has locked horns with in LPGA Tour events and Solheim Cups over the years.

Paula Creamer heaped praise on Matthew in Abu Dhabi, where she is a guest of HSBC during this week’s men’s European Tour event.

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Asked by the Edinburgh Evening News if a common belief that Matthew, the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion and an eight-times Solheim Cup player was under-rated is true, she replied: “100 per cent. To win a major, as she did, just a few weeks after giving birth and to play at the level she has for such a long time is so impressive.”

Less so was Stephen Gallacher’s start to the event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where the Lothians man slumped to a nine-over-par 81 in his first start of 2016 to sit 14 shots off the lead.

In fairness to the 41-year-old, he didn’t shirk away from the disappointing effort, saying: “I just didn’t drive the ball well and when you are playing on a course as tough as this, you simply can’t get away with poor shots.

“I hit it in a bush on one hole then lost a ball in a bush at the next to go bogey then triple-bogey, which was sore.”