Catriona Matthew heads to Pinehurst in search of second major

Catriona Matthew has practised at Pinehurst
Catriona Matthew has practised at Pinehurst
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Martin Kaymer was a runaway winner of the US Open last weekend – now North Berwick’s Catriona Matthew will be looking to follow in his footsteps over the same Pinehurst No.2 course this week.

For the first time in history, the US Women’s Open is being played on the same course as the men’s event. It’s an interesting twist and a bold move by the USGA to try and generate more interest in the female game.

Apparently, some of the men and their caddies weren’t too happy when the females turned up on the range to practise on Sunday, but others welcomed the innovation.

“It’s cool to run into the girls,” said Rory McIlroy. “I would like to see it happen more often. I think it’s a good thing for women’s golf to give them a little bit more exposure. Even though they get to play some of the best courses in the world, I’m going to tune in and watch just to see how they get on around here.”

North Berwick’s Matthew has already played in three US Women’s Opens in the area – all at Pine Needles. She made her debut in 1996 and tied for fourth in 2001 and then was there again as a new young mum in 2007.

Pine Needles – as with Pinehurst – is a course designed by Dornoch native Donald Ross. Both are famous for the up-turned saucer greens with little landing room and nasty slopes.

Matthew, who will be playing in the Women’s British Open at Birkdale in three weeks’ time, would love to add a second major to her CV after winning the British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 2009.

She is having a great season and is No.14 in the Rolex world rankings and recently finished in the top three in the Airbus LPGA Classic.