Catriona Matthew’s 2017 goal is to make Solheim Cup team

Catriona Matthew competes in the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open at Royal Adelaide starting tomorrow
Catriona Matthew competes in the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open at Royal Adelaide starting tomorrow
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Catriona Matthew is hoping to get her quest for a ninth Solheim Cup appearance off to a flying start in Australia this weekend.

The North Berwick woman will definitely be involved in September’s clash in Iowa, having been named by European skipper Annika Sorenstam as one of her vice-captains.

But she sets out in the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at Royal Adelaide tomorrow aiming to secure a playing role instead under the Swede in the biennial match.

“I think you start every year hoping to win so that’s going to be my goal for this year – to get a win – and make the Solheim Cup team,” said Matthew.

The 47-year-old tied for ninth at last year’s Australian Open, which was held at The Grange Golf Club, literally across the road from Royal Adelaide.

“I’ve always liked coming to down here – my brother lives in Sydney – and obviously winning my first-ever tournament at Yarra Yarra (in Melbourne) was special,” she said.

“It’s my first tournament out this year so you never quite know, but I’m hitting it well so we’ll just see what it’s like with a scorecard in my hand.

“The greens on this course are small and, if the wind blows, it will get pretty tough. It’s not overly long but I think it’s going to be all in the second shots.”

Capital-based Duncan Stewart is also in action in Australia this week, having travelled down under for the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, which gets underway tomorrow at Lake Karrinyup.

The Turnhouse-attached player has missed the cut in his opening five events of the new European Tour season, but is feeling confident that he can use this tournament to kick-start his campaign.

“It has been a bit of a disappointing start to the year, but I feel I’m very much back on track,” insisted Stewart. “I fell back into some old bad habits with my swing around the World Cup time and has taken a bit of time to iron them out.”

The event combines 54 holes of traditional stroke-play across the first three days before 
concluding with match-play ties on the final day. “It has potential to be really exciting,” said Stewart.