In a globetrotting career, Catriona Matthew is used to living out of a suitcase.
A tournament in her own backyard, though, allows her to do the things that a mother of two tends to do. "It's great being able to stay at home but it's strange too," admitted Matthew, who launches the defence of her Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open title today at Archerfield in her native East Lothian. "You find yourself doing other things than just playing golf and that takes a bit of getting used to. I'm not that great at putting the washing on at the best of times."
Matthew cleaned up last season as she eased to her second Scottish Open victory in three years. The 45-year-old is used to leading from the front, having single-handedly carried the saltire on the global stage for so long now she's probably got blisters. With Kylie Walker making her breakthrough with two wins on the Ladies European Tour this season, and a number of other Scots establishing a solid foothold on the main circuit, Matthew is encouraged by this increasing strength in numbers.
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"Once one starts to play well it pushes the others on," said Matthew." There are quite a few Scots on the LET now and they're all trying to beat each other. I never felt as though I was carrying women's golf in Scotland on my shoulders, to be honest, but it is great to see others starting to come through now. When I started out, there was Kathryn [Imrie], Janice [Moodie] and Mhairi [McKay] and we spurred each other on, similar to what is happening at the moment."
One Scot who could do with a wee spur is Carly Booth. After winning her maiden tour title in the Scottish Open in 2012, before adding the Swiss Open to her collection barely a month later, it appeared that the talented Perthshire youngster was set to take flight. Since then, though, Booth's career has nose dived. She missed 14 cuts from 17 events on the European circuit in 2013 and has departed early from nine of 12 this term.
A tie for fourth in the Scottish Open 12 months ago was a rare high point, but the 22-year-old is still upbeat. "I feel my game is getting close to be being very good," she said. "The confidence is in there somewhere."