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Matthew is still performing with distinction, even if few have noticed

Technology, and its unrelenting march towards the complete tyranny of mankind, is just great, isn't it?

Catriona Matthew on her way to fourth place  in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taoyuan on Sunday. Picture: Victor Fralle/Getty Images
Catriona Matthew on her way to fourth place in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taoyuan on Sunday. Picture: Victor Fralle/Getty Images

For those of us who still stare in open-mouthed astonishment at the wonders of the horse-drawn plough, the everyday operations of the latest gadgets never cease to amaze.

Before you'd even registered that the clocks had gone back an hour, as you bumbled and belched, bleary-eyed from your crypt on Sunday morning, a smug little message on the laptop computer nonchalantly popped up and informed you that it had already changed the time on your behalf. It's becoming increasingly hard to think of a single human function that technology hasn't somehow altered, apart from, say, resigned sighing. And there's probably an iPhone app being developed for that as we speak.

Of course, the upside of this welter of whiz-bang machinery is that we have all the information we need at the touch of a button and that comes in handy when trying to follow the global golf scene. Last weekend, we had the European Tour's BMW Masters, the PGA and Asian Tour's co-sanctioned CIMB Classic, the LPGA Tour's Sunrise Taiwan Championship and the Ladies European Tour's Suzhou Taihu Open all hammering on at the same time out in the Far East. It was a bit like trying to keep pace with a solitary sock in a load of washing on a fast spin as your attention was drawn hither and thither in a boggle-eyed bonanza.

Amid the general tangle of the weekend's action, it was easy to lose sight of yet another significant result for a 43-year-old who continues to lead the way for Scotland on the world stage. It must be Paul Lawrie, surely? Why not try Catriona Matthew.

Lawrie's heroic exploits this season, both on the individual front and in the team arena of the Ryder Cup, have earned bucketloads of plaudits during the 2012 campaign but Matthew's profitable year, which has been bolstered by a productive stint in Asia over these last few weeks, is worthy of far more praise than the scant acclaim she has been afforded. Lawrie may sit 27th on the world rankings but it is Matthew, at No.15 in the women's pecking order, who remains the country's frontrunner.

The former Women's British Open champion racked up her third successive top-five finish of her Far Eastern forays with a fourth place behind Norway's Suzann Pettersen on Sunday. The previous weekend, Matthew was pipped to the Hanabank Championship in a play-off by Pettersen in Korea while, the week before that in Malaysia, the Scot was fourth in the Sime Darby LPGA Championship.

In the events leading up to her Asian assaults, Matthew tied for 10th in the Women's British Open, shared fifth in the Kingsmill Championship and plundered the 10th professional win of her career in the Ladies Irish Open over the same Killeen Castle course where she performed with such distinction during Europe's memorable Solheim Cup triumph of 2011.

The competitive fire continues to burn brightly in Matthew and her consistency shows no sign of diminishing.

The former Scottish Ladies Amateur champion, who continues to benefit from her work with respected coach Kevin Craggs, admitted at the start of the year that she was "playing the best golf I've ever played" while her tried- and-tested formula of going into golfing hibernation over the winter in her homeland will have Matthew re-energised for the 2013 campaign.

"I'll play the CME Group Titleholders Championship [in November] and probably won't touch a club again until January," said the North Berwick stalwart, who will be eager to secure a seventh Solheim Cup appearance next season while making a robust assault on the Women's British Open on Scottish turf at St Andrews. "That break always does me good and gets me refreshed. It's helped me keep playing for longer than some of the others, perhaps. I've paced myself. Why am I still playing well at this age? I don't really know, to be honest. I just keep practising and I keep enjoying it. You have to enjoy it."

When Carly Booth made her breakthrough on the European circuit earlier this season by winning the Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield, and then doubled her title tally not long after by capturing the Deutsche Bank Swiss Open, we were offered a glimpse into a bright future for the Scottish women's game. Matthew is not about to relinquish her throne just yet, though, and her achievements, past and present, continue to set the standards for those trying to follow in her footsteps. The shoes will take some filling.

Like Matthew, Lawrie has also acknowledged that he is improving with age and sees no reason why his rousing renaissance cannot continue. In these two golfing 40-somethings, the next generation don't have far to look for inspirational figures.

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