Catriona Matthew to hit opening shot in first AIG Women's Open at Muirfield

Catriona Matthew, the 2009 winner who lives just five minutes away, has been handed the honour of hitting the opening tee shot in the historic AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield.

Catriona Matthew in action during Tuesday's AIG Women's Open Pro-Am at Muirfield. Picture: Octavio Passos/Getty Images.
Catriona Matthew in action during Tuesday's AIG Women's Open Pro-Am at Muirfield. Picture: Octavio Passos/Getty Images.

In the event’s first visit to the venerable East Lothian venue, two-time winning Solheim Cup captain Matthew will get it underway at 6.30am in Thursday’s opening round.

She’ll have a fellow Scot for company, too, with Louise Duncan also in the first group that is completed by American Sophia Schubert.

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Duncan was playing as an amateur when she thrilled the home fans by finishing in the top 10 behind Anna Nordqvist at Carnoustie 12 months ago.

That effort secured an exemption for this year’s event, which will be just her second start since turning professional.

Gemma Dryburgh,the top-ranked Scot, is out at 11.10am in the first round along with Becky Brewerton from Wales and American Lindsey Weaver Wright.

But’s it a late start for Michele Thomson, the fourth home player in the field for the season’s final major.

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The Aberdonian is not out until 3.06pm along with Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and French qualifier Celine Herbin.

Nordqvist will begin her title defence alongside Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit and Japan’s Yuka Saso at 12.49pm.

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That trio set out just after a group comprising American Nelly Korda, Minjee Lee from Australia and Jin Young Ko, the world No 1 from Korea.

Japan’s Ayaka Furue, the newly-crowned Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open champion, tees off at 8.09am on Thursday along with Australian Hannah Green and Korea Jeongun Lee6.

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