Women's Open history-maker Catriona Matthew says 'dialogue' is needed over LIV Golf
AIG Women’s Open history-maker Catriona Matthew believes the LPGA should at least have “dialogue” with Greg Norman if he wants to add a LIV Golf model in the women’s game.
Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the LPGA Tour commissioner, admitted recently that she would “take the call” from Norman, the LIV Golf CEO and commissioner, if he got in contact about becoming involved in the women’s game.
Speaking after she’d hit the opening shot in the first AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, Matthew said she felt that would be the right course of action after the situation that has developed in the men’s game.
The PGA Tour has refused to sit down with Norman and now 11 LIV Golf players, including Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter, are taking legal action against the US-based circuit.
“There's a lot going on in golf, mostly in men's golf,” replied Matthew to being asked if she’d have any concerns about the future if LIV Golf spread to the women’s game in some form or another.
“I think any talk of the ladies is certainly just rumour at the moment from what the tours say. I suppose in one way we can wait and see what happens in the men's game, so maybe in that way it makes it a little easier for the ladies.”
The Saudis are already involved in the Ladies European Tour, mainly through the Aramco Team Series, which Matthew herself has played in, meaning there is some communication there already.
“I think you need to have a dialogue, yeah. Yeah, I do,” added the two-time Solheim Cup-winning captain.
On the back of being a former winner and also due to her living just five minutes away in North Berwick, Matthew was handed the honour of being first on the tee for this week’s historic event at Muirfield.
“It was great actually,” said the 2009 champion. “Coming from here, it was a nice moment to hit the first shot of the Women's Open here.”
Referring to where it ended up, she added with a smile: “You know, plenty of room right, so I used it all!”
A poor third shot led to her starting with a double-bogey 6 and, after another one at the tenth, she had to settle for a five-over 76.
“Apart from that (the double-bogeys), I actually played quite well, so a little frustrating,” she admitted.
“It was out there I think for the taking this morning. Even though it was wet for our first few holes, the wind is certainly less than it's been the last two days. I think I could reach 12 and 15 and 14 quite easily.”
Playing in the same group, 22-year-old Scot Louise Duncan opened with a four-under 67, having finished in a tie for tenth as an amateur at Carnoustie 12 months ago,
“Louise played great - great round from her,” said Matthew. “She kept it very steady. Didn't get into any trouble and took advantage of the par 5s.”