CATRIONA MATTHEW is aiming to keep her kids happy by putting plenty of red numbers on the board in this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in East Lothian.
Daughters Katie and Sophie were too young to enjoy the North Berwick woman’s win in the event at Archerfield Links two years ago, but, helped by the colours used for live scoring in golf events, they’re starting to know what it means when red appears for birdies.
“My two children don’t often get a chance to watch me,” said Matthew when asked what she enjoyed most about playing in an event on her own doorstep.
“I think they were old enough to watch maybe two shots when I won the last time, but the older one [Katie] grasps a little bit about what I do now.
“She watches the live-time scoring. She knows a birdie or a bogey. She knows which colours to look for.”
Matthew has bagged her fair share of birdies in the Solheim Cup over the years and has her sights set on a seventh appearance against the Americans in Colorado in mid-August.
“It’s been a solid enough start to the year,” said the 43-year-old of chalking up three top-ten finishes on the LPGA our.
“I’m pleased with how my game is going and am just heading off for three weeks, starting with an event in the Bahamas.
“The Solheim Cup is the best week every two years – it’s so different. Everyone wants to beat the Americans.”
Carly Booth, last year’s Ladies Scottish Open winner, would love to get that opportunity for the first time later this year. But, after ending last season on the crest of wave on the back of two Ladies European Tour triumphs, the 20-year-old has gone off the boil a bit in the early part of this year.
“Just enjoy it,” said Matthew when asked what advice she’d give her younger compatriot. “She has proved she is a very good player and she just has to trust in herself that her game will come round. You don’t win two tournaments and lose your game. It can be tough to get some momentum going, but it’s early days yet.”
It was early in the season when Booth won in East Lothian last season but now the fourth instalment of the Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield is back in a more traditional slot.
With Aberdeen Asset Management having committed to a new two-year sponsorship, it’s taking place on August 30 to September 1, when 70 professionals will join 70 amateurs in a pro-am format as they battle it out for a £183,000 prize pot over 54 holes.
“It is fantastic news that Aberdeen Asset Management is committing to support the tournament for a further two years, no company is doing more for Scottish golf than them at the moment,” added Matthew.
“The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open has a unique format which is enjoyed by the professionals and amateurs alike and it has a great atmosphere.
“Playing in the tournament is always one of the highlights of my year as it’s so close to my home and means that I can spend quality time with my family as well as play golf with lots of supporters.”
Booth had plenty of people cheering on her, too, when she holed a knee-trembling putt on the final green to claim her first LET title last May.
“That was really special as it was in my home country,” admitted the Perthshire player. “The win gave me the confidence to play well for the rest of the year and helped boost my confidence.
“I love playing the course at Archerfield and having the support of the home crowd and that of my friends and family, and I’m really looking forward to defending my title at the tournament at the end of August.
“With Catriona winning the tournament in 2011 and me winning it last year, we’re on for a hat-trick of Scottish Champions!”
No-one would be happier to see that happen that Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen Asset Management’s golf-mad chief executive.
“As proud supporters of Scottish golf from grassroots through to elite level, we are delighted to announce the extension of our title sponsorship of the Ladies Scottish Open for a further two years,” he said.
“The event gives Scotland the opportunity to showcase one of its beautiful courses and for us to shine a light onto some of the best golfers on the Ladies European Tour.”