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July 26, 2017

Catriona Matthew

North Ayrshire, Scotland

BETHAN CUTLER: We'd like to introduce the first lady of Scottish golf, Catriona Matthew.

You've won the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open twice before, and you obviously love playing at home in Scotland. What would it mean to get a hat trick.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, obviously it would be great. I mean, obviously now it's co-sanctioned and it's a much bigger event now. Played here a couple of times and know the course well, and looking forward to getting out there and playing.

BETHAN CUTLER: Obviously the event's stepped up. What do you think about the co-sanctioning with the LET and the LPGA?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think it's great for the event. It's a much bigger profile now and going to the same courses men are going, just the whole setup is bigger and just feels like a bigger event and more buzz about it.

BETHAN CUTLER: You've seen the conditions yesterday, sunshine and wind this morning. What do you prefer to play in?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Definitely sunshine. Been in America a long time. Obviously in Scotland you're going to get a bit of everything probably, so you just have to be ready for it.

BETHAN CUTLER: You're a first-time vice captain at the Solheim Cup this year with Annika. Would you fancy being a playing vice captain?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, obviously these are a big two weeks for me. Feel as though I'm playing well. Come around in the last month. Maybe just haven't produced the scores yet. It's a big two weeks for me and hopefully get a good couple of tournaments.

BETHAN CUTLER: The next Solheim Cup will be at Gleneagles. Is a captaincy on your mind at all?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I'll certainly put my name in it. I won't be playing in it. I know that for certain. I'll definitely put my name in the pot and see what happens.

Q. How would you describe your form coming into here, and what do you feel you need to do in these two weeks to become a player again in the Solheim?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously results have been pretty poor this year for me. But felt as though I played, apart from that one round at the U.S. Open, played well. I feel as though I'm hitting the ball well. Starting to swing it a lot better than I did at the start of the year. I'm confident with where my game is but obviously I know realistically I need two good finishes these weeks.

Q. The courses, here and Kingsbarns, very different tests in your opinion?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, they are a bit different. I went over about six weeks ago and played Kingsbarns. That was the first time I've played it. They are not too different. I think golf over here, the weather dictates everything I think.

Q. I think the prize fund here is 1.2 million. Did you ever dream that you could be playing for that in your home country, other than a major?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think it's great that it's co-sanctioned now, and I think with the way Aberdeen have it, where it's following the men's, the same courses. That really raises the profile for the ladies' game. And obviously it will be great to see it at Gullane next year. So yes, it's very exciting for the tournament.

Q. Is it important that the prize money becomes closer to the men's, that type of thing?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, ideally we'd like it the same in tennis, same as the men, but we're heading in that direction. It's good for women's golf in Scotland for young girls to see the top female professionals and see it's a sport. Overall women's sports in Britain are starting to get more coverage. The bigger events we get and more coverage we get, hopefully it encourages girls to take up sports.

Q. And the women's game in general on the European Tour, its health, how would you describe it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think the European Tour, obviously there's a lot of good European players. The European Tour is perhaps struggling a little bit at the moment, but hopefully a good Solheim Cup can boost it again and hopefully get it back on its feet.

Q. Was there anything in particular in your game, you said you weren't playing well early on, but coming in the last month, is there any one thing in particular?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think I just kind of lost my way a little bit with my swing. I went back to Kevin, my old coach. Just been working -- I just feel as though I've got more of a focus back in my game now. Working on a few things with my backswing and feel as though it's all coming together.

Q. When did you start back with Kevin?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Probably just about March, April time.

Q. Obviously.
You don't need to reveal what words Annika said she's looking for you from the next two weeks, or is it, whatever?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think I've played enough myself that I know I've got to produce a good couple of weeks here. You know, obviously it depends, a lot of factors and who qualifies and how other people play. We'll just need to wait and see what happens these two weeks.

It's a big two weeks for probably a few of us going for those last couple spots.

Q. But has she given you anything specific?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: No. I just know I've got to go out there and play pretty well, just like the other ones do. At the end of the day, it comes down to results, perhaps a little bit of experience, helping on my part a little. I think it just depends perhaps on the makeup of the team.

Q. Have there been any developments on the Muirfield memberships?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Nothing there, no. No comment. (Laughter).

Q. Obviously don't want to bring up the vintage, but at 47, obviously you've been a great campaigner all these years, but did it get to the point where you're kind of looking ahead to maybe the next couple of years to see if there is a point where you would maybe call it a day at all?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously I'm still enjoying playing at the moment. I'd like to have played a bit better this year. I obviously, I counted myself out of the Solheim to play certainly in '19, but I probably intend to still play a little team golf and still playing on Tour but stepping back from that. A lot of it will just depend on how I play and how I finish off next year and how I start next year. I think I will just take it and there's no set time and just see how I'm playing.

Q. Did the frustrations become a bit more pronounced?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think as a golfer, you're always frustrated, aren't you. You're always working on something. I think if you stop working on something, then it's probably time to stop. But I'm still keen and still trying to work away at things.

Q. The other day you told me about, a men's major winner in Scotland, not since Paul Lawrie, but you pointed out there had been a women's major --
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Well, I think if they had put it as a man's major winner, but they just said Scotland hadn't had a major winner.

Q. Does it rankle you that sometimes you don't get the credit that your golf over the years surely deserves?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Maybe in the past. I don't think it really rankles me now. You know, maybe at the time it might have done a little bit. People say, oh, winning a major, that's going to change your life, but that's not really a reality in the ladies game.

But as I said earlier, I think women's sport in general is picking up, I would say in the last probably five, six, seven years. Women's sports are definitely getting a larger profile, certainly here in Britain.

BETHAN CUTLER: How did you reflect on the Olympic experience last year?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, it was great. It was my one chance in my career to be in the Olympics. That was a goal of mine to qualify for it. Had great fun and went to a few different events. Yeah, it was a good experience.

BETHAN CUTLER: Do you think that will help to grow the game generally?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think definitely that will help to grow the game certainly in parts of the world where perhaps they weren't playing golf as much or there wasn't as much funding going into golf. Now it's an Olympic sport, these other countries will start putting a lot of money into it.

BETHAN CUTLER: Thank you very much.

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