INSPIRATION wasn’t hard to find for the Scottish teenagers of the Project 19 initiative at the Solheim Cup.

A posse of six young girl golfers, who started the group to motivate themselves to make a push to qualify for the junior version of the transatlantic tussle on Scottish soil in 2019, made the trip out to Des Moines to absorb how the main movers and shakers go about their duties.

By all accounts, they had a whale of a time. The likes of 18-year-old Angel Yin or 21-year-old Georgia Hall, who both sparkled on their Solheim Cup debuts for the US and Europe respectively, may be much nearer the age group of those Project 19 lassies but it was a 47-year-old Scot who continued to stimulate and generate wide-eyed reverence.

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Catriona Matthew and her European team-mates were, ultimately, second best as the USA won 16 ½ - 11 ½ but, as far as an example to the next generation coming through is concerned, the North Berwick veteran remains the undisputed No 1.

Even her daughters are now sitting up and taking notice of their super mum. Well, in a fashion. “Their biggest comment was that I was wearing a skort,” said Matthew of this skirt and shorts combination. “I got the seal of approval for that.”

Mattthew, who picked up three points out of four over the weekend having been thrust into action at the 11th hour after the late withdrawal of Suzann Pettersen, will probably get the seal of approval too for the European captaincy in 2017 when the match takes place in Scotland.

Annika Sorenstam, who led Europe at Des Moines, has already stated her intention not to have another crack at it. Matthew, with nine Solheim Cup appearances on her cv, would be the perfect fit.

Matthew now has a total points haul of 22, just three behind Laura Davies who is the all-time leading scorer in the event.

She remains adamant, though, that she won’t be giving herself another chance to add to that tally.

“I think I should go out on a high,” said Matthew, who signed off with a battling one hole win over Stacy Lewis in the Sunday singles. “I know that I am now just three points behind Laura, but two years is a long time. I will definitely still be playing on the LPGA Tour and I will know when the time is right to stop on that.

“But as far as the Solheim Cup is concerned, I think it’s time for some younger players to take over.

“I had some big shoes to fill taking over from Suzann, but I certainly felt that I did my part for the team.

“Let’s hope this will be the catalyst for a strong finish to my season. It’s given me a lot of confidence as I played some good golf on all three days, though especially in the singles.”

Matthew, who continues to go about her business with a quiet yet purposeful dignity, remains one of Scottish sport’s most under-appreciated campaigners.

The words of US team captain, Juli Inkster, in the aftermath about the women’s game as a whole could have been just as applicable to Matthew.

“We don’t get the credit we’re due,” said Inkster before adding: “If we play well, the courses are too short. If we don’t play well, we’re not good enough.

“I just think as women golfers we always get shortchanged and it irks me. I hope people are starting to recognize how good they are.”

Elsewhere on the team front, the Scottish duo of Connor Syme and Robert MacIntyre were yesterday included in Craig Watson’s GB&I team for next month’s Walker Cup match with the USA in Los Angeles.