Family comes first as Catriona Matthew sits out Women's Scottish Open
Top-ranked Scot Gemma Dryburgh and Dubai-based Alison Muirhead were handed the spots made available to VisitScotland, joining the exempt quartet of Carly Booth, Kylie Henry, Kelsey Macdonald and Michele Thomson in the line up.
It means Matthew, the winning Solheim Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2019 and gearing up to lead Europe’s defence in Toledo next month, will be missing out on her home Open, which she won in 2011 and 2013, both times at Archerfield Links.
But, after playing in the US Senior Women’s Open in Connecticut and the Aramco Team Series event in Spain over the past two weeks, the 51-year-old is spending some time at home in North Berwick with her family before returning to action in next week’s AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie.
“It was my decision,” said the 2009 Women’s Open champion of sitting out this week’s event. “It’s the summer holidays for the girls (daughters Katie and Sophie) and, having been away the last two weeks, I wanted to be home with them this week
“I’m playing at Carnoustie next week then only have five days or so at home before heading off for the Solheim Cup, so I felt I really needed to be with the girls this week.
“I also didn’t want to take another invite this year as I used one last year and may potentially request one next year before the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, depending on the schedule. So I’ve not necessarily played my last Women’s Scottish Open yet!”
With $1.5 million up for grabs, this week’s event is a huge opportunity for Solheim Cup hopefuls to catch Matthew’s eye, with her team set to be finalised straight after the AIG Women’s Open.
“I’ll be up on Sunday to watch en route to Carnoustie,” added the North Berwick woman, who tied for fourth in the US Senior Women’s Open before ending up just outside the top 10 alongside Macdonald in the Aramco Team Series event at Sotogrande.