Catriona Matthew went out with a win in her final Solheim Cup appearance on Sunday at Des Moines Golf & Country Club.
The Scot defeated Stacey Lewis 1-up in the Sunday singles to earn one of five full points won for Team Europe, but Team USA retained the Solheim Cup with an overall victory of 16½ to 11½.
“I hung in there and hoped my time would come – that I would make a few birdies,” said Matthew, 47, an LPGA Tour veteran and member of The Legends Tour, who posted a 3-1-0 record in this year’s Solheim Cup. “I just never gave up.”
In the singles match, Lewis led 3-up through 11 holes, but Matthew won the next two holes and four of the next six holes. She squared the match with a birdie on No. 15, and took a 1-up lead on the 17th hole when Lewis recorded a bogey.
Matthew also put points on the board for Team Europe during the Friday Foursomes when she paired with Karine Icher of France to defeat Lewis and Gerina Piller 1-up. She and Icher returned for the Saturday Foursomes to defeat Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang 2 and 1.
Her only loss during this year’s event came in the Saturday Fourball matches when she and European Team rookie Georgia Hall lost 4 and 2 to Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
“We felt like, the last time in Germany [in 2015], we lost [the Solheim Cup],” said Matthew, when asked about the disappointment of not taking back the Cup this year.
“This time, we don’t feel as we lost it,” she added. “We played well, but they played some amazing golf. They just played better than us.”
Matthew actually traveled to Iowa as a player alternate and vice captain for the 2017 European Solheim Cup team, but when European Team stalwart Suzann Pettersen withdrew from the event two days before Friday’s opening matches, Matthew was asked to step in to replace the injured Norwegian.
It was her ninth Solheim Cup appearance, and by the conclusion of Sunday’s singles matches, Matthew had wrapped up her career with an overall record of 18-11-8, including membership on three winning squads (2003, 2011 and 2013).
Matthew made the winning putt at the 2003 Solheim Cup at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club in Sweden and secured the half point to win the 2013 Solheim Cup outright for Europe’s first win abroad at Colorado Golf Club.
The mother of two has represented Europe in 37 Solheim Cup matches from 1998, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017, and was appointed as a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010.
She owns four LPGA Tour victories, six Ladies European Tour wins and 12 professional wins worldwide. She also has posted five top-five finishes in major championships, including a win at the 2009 Women’s British Open.
On The Legends Tour -- for LPGA members age 45 and over – Matthew competed on the World Team during the 2015 Handa Cup competition between players from the United States and the rest of the world. She posted a 2-1-0 record and could potentially return for the World Team when the international competition returns in 2018.
But even after contributing points in Europe’s effort this year, Matthew – the oldest player in this year’s field -- said she has no plans to continue competing in the Solheim Cup even though the 2019 event will take place in Scotland.
“You know, I was 3-down through 11 in my singles match and I kind of said to myself, ‘This is going to be your last match, so give it your all,’” she said. “I managed to play all 18 holes and just squeaked it past [to win].”
The typically stoic Scot was happy with her victory in Sunday’s singles, but is resolute as she looks ahead at the event in which she has been a longtime steady contributor for the European side.
“This is going to be my last one playing,” affirmed Matthew, who could potentially serve as captain of the 2019 European Solheim Cup Team when the event is hosted by her homeland. “I think it’s time for some younger players to take over.”
About The Legends Tour
The Legends Tour is the official senior tour of the LPGA. The tour began in 2000 by LPGA professionals to showcase the talents of some of the greatest women’s golfers of all time. The Legends Tour has more than 120 members, including 14 LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members. Legends Tour players have over 750 combined LPGA Tour victories, including 84 major championships. In its 15 seasons, The Legends Tour has awarded more than $13 million in prize money and helped raise over $17 million for charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia. For additional information on The Legends Tour, log on to www.thelegendstour.com.
Contacts: Lisa Mickey at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Sue Fracker, The Legends Tour, email@example.com.