The thing about a press conference is that you have to speak about things. And how do you express those things that you have to speak about? That’s right, with your voice. 

The problem for Suzann Pettersen yesterday was that she didn’t just have a frog in her throat, she sounded like she had Paul McCartney’s Frog Chorus in it. 

“My voice is gone so this is as good as it gets,” croaked Pettersen. By the end of the blether, she was just about using mime and shadow puppetry to get her various responses across. 

Her throat infection may have left her toiling to talk but Pettersen always gives folk something to talk about in the Solheim Cup arena. 

Four years ago in Germany, she sparked that infamous stooshie over the concession of a putt which caused tears, tantrums and considerable tumult. 

Two years ago in Iowa, Pettersen was an 11th hour withdrawal from the transatlantic tussle due to injury. And here at Gleneagles in 2019, the Norwegian continues to grab the headlines. 


Pettersen maintains that her particular ailment won’t affect her golf but, with her inclusion as a wild card already seen as a gamble in some quarters due to the lack of compet-itive golf she has played in the past two years, the sair throat added another layer of intrigue to her presence this week. 

“I’m fine and my golf is in great shape,” insisted the 38-year-old as she quelled any fears about her general fettle. 

The atmosphere of the Solheim Cup seems to be working just as 
well as any packet of extra strong lozenges.

“Being here it feels like I never left the game,” added the vastly exper-ienced Pettersen, who took time away to have a baby and has played only four events since November 2017. 

“I don’t know whether it’s the atmosphere or the energy of the Solheim Cup that always brings out the best in all of us.”

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Asked about the views of those critical of her inclusion, Pettersen remained as defiant as ever. 

“We’ll, I’m not the captain so I don’t have to speak about that,” said the two-time major winner who will be making her ninth Solheim Cup appearance. 

“When this potential pick came up, I was very honest with everybody about where I felt my game was at the time and if it was going to be good enough on a stage like this.”

Pettersen has no concerns about her ability to jump back into the frenzied frontline and neither does anybody else on Team Europe. 

“Why wouldn’t you want Suzann Pettersen on your team?,” said the European vice-captain, Laura Davies. “She hasn’t played a huge amount of tournaments, but matchplay is very different. You don’t have to string together 72-holes. In 18-hole matchplay, I’d back Suzann every time.”

LISTEN: Herald Sport Solheim Cup podcast from Gleneagles

As for the European captain Catriona Matthew? Well, she had bigger things to worry about yesterday than Pettersen’s form and fitness. 

“The most nervous moment is going to be the speech,” she said of her public speaking duties at last night’s opening ceremony.

A veteran of nine Solheim Cups as a player, Matthew knows all about the stomach-churning and nail-nibbling that goes on in the heat of the battle. 

As a captain peering on, the Scot appeared as calm as a tranquil boating pond on the eve of the 16th meeting between the sides. 

“It’s very different from playing and you’ve not got that nervous energy thinking ‘how am I going to play’?”, she said. “I’m actually looking forward to getting on the first tee and not worrying about hitting it.”