North Berwick’s Catriona Matthew took her Solheim Cup disappointment on the chin after missing out on a wildcard for next week’s match in Iowa.
“It was in my own hands – but I just did not play well enough,” admitted the Scottish No.1 after having to be content with a role as vice captain for the Des Moines contest.
Matthew had been hoping to secure a ninth playing appearance against the Americans, but paid the price for a disappointing performance in the Scottish Open the missing the cut in the British Open. That double blow proved costly as European skipper Annika Sorenstam gave her picks instead to Swedish duo Anna Nordqvist and Madelene Sagstrom, German’s Caroline Masson and Dane Emily Kristine Pedersen.
“I pretty much knew my chance was gone after that,” added Matthew of her early exit at Kingsbarns from the final counting event and fourth women’s major of the season.
Ever the professional she will now channel energy towards helping Sorenstam and the other members of her backroom team to trying to help win the trophy back after losing to the Americans at St Leon-Rot in Germany two years ago.
“We’ve got a good, strong team with a lot of good players and there are going to be some good matches out in Des Moines,” predicted Matthew.
Sorenstam heaped praise on the Lothians star when asked by the Evening News how close she’d come to making the team in a playing capacity.
“It is hard to say ‘no’ to someone who lives for the Solheim Cup, but she was in the process so knows the players we were talking about,” said the Swede.
“She was strong and mature and I am happy she is on the team either way.”
Elsewhere, Paul Broadhurst’s love affair with East Lothian was strengthened after he claimed a second Scottish Seniors Open title triumph on Scotland’s Golf Coast.
Two years after winning the event on his over-50s debut at Archerfield Links, the Midlander came out on top again next door at The Renaissance Club.
Broadhurst carded rounds of 66-67-67 for a 13-under-par 200 total, finishing three shots ahead of Australia’s Mike Harwood.
Winner of the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie last year, this is the 51-year-old’s third victory on Scottish soil in four events.
“I love links golf,” said Broadhurst. “I’ve had some serious practice in the wind over the last few weeks at The Open and Senior Open. I’ve mastered the knock-down shot and that was key this week.
“I hit some really close irons into strong winds; that was the key to the win. It’s great to win this event again; this trophy really means a lot to me.”
Helensburgh’s Gary Orr closed with a course-record 63 to claim a share of third spot – his best effort since turning 50 earlier in the year.
“It was a shame I was a long way back,” said Orr after carding an eagle and six birdies in a flawless last-day effort.
“If I had started nearer the lead, I could have posted a really strong total. I struggled the first day but played well in the last two rounds.
“I putted really well and knocked in a lot of nice putts and it was a nice way to finish with a birdie.
“I had my son on the bag and it has been great having him with me the last two weeks. He plays off ten but he’s a good putter and really helped me read the greens.”