It was hardly one of golf’s great revelations. There were probably village elders of the Kuna tribe who had a fair inkling that Juli Inkster would be re-appointed US captain for the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

With two wins under her leadership in 2015 and 2017, why change a winning formula? “But winning ways have to come to an end,” warned Catriona Matthew, the Scot who is Inkster’s European counterpart for the transatlantic tussle next year. “I had a feeling it would be Juli. Having won two, it was hard not to go for her again.”

While England’s Mickey Walker captained Europe four times during the formative years of the Solheim Cup in the 1990s, Inkster’s third term in office is unprecedented as far as Team USA is concerned.

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The 57-year-old hall of famer, whose shimmering golfing cv is burnished by seven major titles and nine Solheim Cup appearances as a player, will be aiming for a triple whammy of wins in the biennial event.

Matthew, meanwhile, will be going for a tartan-tinged trio of her own. She won two Solheim Cups on Scottish soil in 1992 at Dalmahoy and in 2000 at Loch Lomond. In Perthshire in 2019, the 48-year-old will be trying to halt the American advance.

“We will be trying our hardest to stop Juli doing something no American has done before,” added Matthew, who was a late call-up to the European team for last year’s match in Iowa and performed superbly as the visitors went down fighting.

“In a way there is a bit of pressure on Juli to do three in a row. For us we have the motivation of not wanting to lose for the third time. It will be a big challenge but one we can rise to.”

As two seasoned campaigners on the global battlegrounds, Matthew and Inkster have seen it, done it and probably have vast warehouses full of t-shirts. The respect between the two is mutual and Matthew is relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with an old friend and golfing foe.

“I played against her in a couple of foursomes matches down the years while we’ve had a few battles on the tour,” said Matthew.

“She seems to have got the American team to gel very well. They seem to be working for each other and they are a strong unit. Juli has a fairly relaxed attitude even though she is a fierce competitor and has a great will to win.”

While Inkster was being unveiled in the US, Matthew was announcing a slight tweak to the European qualifying process.

She will still have four wild card picks but the number of European players qualifying from the world rankings has been raised from four to five while the number selected from the Ladies European Tour (LET) order of merit has been reduced from four to three.

In a move aimed at bolstering the LET, which has not had its troubles to seek, European players who predominantly ply their trade on the LPGA circuit will now have to play eight events on the LET instead of six to be eligible for inclusion.

“We’ve lost the last two so I think we needed to try something different and I was happy to help push the changes through,” said Matthew. “For the players, it will be good to see which ones come back from the LPGA, show the commitment and make the effort to play the extra two events in order to make the team. It’s good for the tour and shows they want to support it.”

Matthew resumes tour duties in Australia next week and with the Solheim Cup slowly taking shape, she’s keen to get going.

“Nothing beats playing alongside them (potential team members) in competitions because that’s where it matters,” she said. “You see them performing under pressure and that’s invaluable for a captain.”