upset at Solheim Cup snub
It was Catriona Matthews 33rd
birthday on Sunday, but she certainly didnt get the present she had hoped
for and yesterday she admitted she was hurt and angry at being left out of the
European team for the Solheim Cup team for the second time in succession.
years ago, Matthew failed to pick up one of Dale Reids wild card selections
at Loch Lomond, and she has again been overlooked by the Ladybank-based captain
for the defence of the trophy at Interlachen in Minnesota from 20-22 September.
Janice Moodie was another surprise absentee, leaving only one Scot, Mhairi McKay,
in the line-up.
Matthew, who played in the 1998 match at Muirfield Village
in Ohio, admitted that she was "totally disenchanted" at once again
being passed over.
Last year, she won the Hawaiian Open and was tenth on
the LPGA money list; over the past two weeks, she secured second and fourth finishes
in America and is No18 on the money list.
"Im really hurt and
angry, and am seriously wondering whether its worth the bother to try and
make the team," said the North Berwick golfer, speaking from the States yesterday.
"It seems that the team is based on personality rather than playing ability,
but I really dont know what Dale has got against me.
quoted as saying she asked me to play more in Europe in order to get noticed.
But she hasnt said anything more than hello to me in the past
two years and I didnt see her out watching me at the British Open (at Turnberry)
after she missed the cut."
With Germanys Elisabeth Esterl named
travelling reserve, Matthew continued: "Does that mean that Janice and I
are only sixth or seventh? Its a laugh."
Not surprisingly, Matthew
backs a suggestion that the selection process should be altered, and weighted
more towards results on the US-based LPGA Tour. This year, eight players came
from rankings based on the European Tour plus the majors, with Reid adding her
four picks. It should have been seven, but Maria Hjorth and Iben Tinning tied
for the final spot.
Laura Davies, who got a wild card, has suggested the
balance should be five from the LPGA, five from Europe and two wild cards. Matthew
proposed seven from the LPGA and three from Europe, a suggestion branded "ridiculous"
by Reid last week.
Moodie could also feel aggrieved. She won the Asahi
Ryokuken International in Augusta in May - world No1 Annika Sorenstam is the only
other European to have won in the US this year - and has a great matchplay record.
She was joint top points scorer at Loch Lomond two years ago, has a fine Curtis
Cup record and made the final of the WPGA International Matchplay at Gleneagles
last year. But, she also plays almost all her golf in the US.
the minimum requirement for those wanting to make the team is to play in six Evian
European Tour events over two seasons, but there is talk of raising the number
perhaps to eight or more.
But Matthew will certainly not be adding to her
number of European appearances (three this year), and so could well rule herself
out of next years Solheim Cup at Barseback in Sweden with Catrin Nilsmark
as the European captain.
Reid, meanwhile, will have a new-look team at
Interlachen, with six rookies - McKay, Tinning, Hjorth, Karine Icher, Paula Marti
and Suzann Pettersen.
This is the seventh staging of the Cup, and Europe
- winners at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000 - aim to win for the first
time in the US.
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