European captain Catriona Matthew is determined to play her part in next month’s Solheim Cup at Gleneagles taking place without any major flashpoints.
An incident that caused furore in the 2015 match in Germany is in the news again following the Scot’s decision to hand one of her four wildcards to Suzann Pettersen.
Partnering English player Charley Hull, the Norwegian left the US team furious after enforcing a penalty on rookie Alison Lee, who had wrongly picked up a short putt in the belief a concession had been granted on the 17th green.
Not only did the European pair go on to claim a point for Europe, but Pettersen showed no regret in the immediate aftermath of the match before later apologising after her conduct had been branded a “disgrace to the sport”.
“I think, with hindsight, you would probably have done something differently,” said Matthew, speaking at Gleneagles after adding her final bits to the jigsaw, of that incident.
“But hindsight is an easy thing. In the heat of the battle, no-one can truthfully say what they would have done.
“I think that’s where I’ve got to look at some of these things that have happened, try not to predict but be ready for what I might do if something similar happens.
‘We’re not wanting things like that to happen. We want it to be played in good spirit and may the best team win.
“But I suppose I’ve got to prepare myself mentally in case something did arise. “I think you just have to be aware that anything might happen.”
Matthew admitted the incident at St Leon Rot had been a “huge deal” and added: “The rise in social media meant that, once it got on the bandwagon, it really took off.
“But De Moines (venue for the last match in 2017) was played in great spirits, great golf. So I think this is going to be a celebration of the golf – and the best team is going to win.”
In addition to Pettersen, Matthew handed picks to English duo Bronte Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff as she bids to stop the Americans making it three wins in a row from 13-15 September. “That’s our goal,” she declared. “We don’t want them winning three a in a row and I’m really happy with the team.