EAST LOTHIAN, SCOTLAND | Catriona
Matthew, 42 next week, ran away with the
Aberdeen Scottish Ladies’ Open at Archerfield
when she added a 66 to opening scores of 70
and 65 for a winning tally which was 15-under
par. Hannah Jun, from California, finished 10
shots back but with her smile still intact.
Matthew, who won the 2009 Ricoh Women’s
British Open at Lytham, has now captured eight
titles around the world. But it was this one, so
near home as to be at a club where she was
made an honorary member after her British
Open triumph, that she felt the most pressure.
Firstly, there was the pressure of wanting
to do well in front of a crowd which seemed to
double every time she made one of her eight
birdies over the sunlit afternoon. Secondly,
there was the strange sensation of being as
many as eight shots clear after her outward 31.
“I looked at the board and thought to myself, ‘What happens if I blow it from here,’ ” she
Such a thought certainly did not occur to
anyone else, for Matthew enjoys the on-course
calm where no one has ever been able to tell if
she is on her way to a 65 or a 75.
In the event, Matthew decided to concentrate
on playing one shot at a time on the homeward
half – and to add to her haul of birdies. Her win,
worth £ 29,000, was very much a family affair.
As usual, she had her husband, Graeme, on the
bag, while the couple’s two young daughters,
Katie and Sophie, were there at the finish. As,
indeed, were Catriona’s parents, with nothing
pleasing the winner more than the fact that her
father, Michael, who is not in the best of health,
was able to watch her signing off with a 15-foot
birdie putt on the home green.
Matthew paid tribute to Kevin Craggs, her
coach, who has spent the last couple of years
encouraging a slower backswing, one which
gives her time to get into the optimum position
at the top.
This week, she is heading for Canada for the
CN Canadian Women’s Open.
Having won each of her last four singles in a
Solheim Cup context, this reliable citizen could
well be Alison Nicholas’ choice to lead the way
in the closing series at Killeen Castle. She may
not make quite the same waves as a Laura Davies but everyone is in awe of the way she plays.
“She’s terrific and so is her golf,” said Karen
Lunn, chairman of the LET. “Today, she made
the rest of us look stupid.”