We do like to tread over some previously well-trodden ground in this game don’t we?

If Catriona Matthew had a pound for every time she was asked about her abiding memory of her 2009 Women’s British Open win, the decorated Scot would have to heave said monetary accumulations down to the bank in great bulging sacks and get them changed into notes.

Her tale, for instance, of her sitting up at 3am feeding her 11-week-old baby just hours after winning the title at Lytham has been told so many times, Matthew probably needs to dust down her own larynx before being forced to tell it again.

It’s always a story worth telling, of course. That victory a decade ago, the first major win by a Scottish woman, remains a remarkable and inspiring feat and will always be part of Women’s British Open folklore.

Here in 2019, Matthew is still going strong and is such a hardy perennial of this championship, they’ve just about named a herbaceous border outside the clubhouse after her.

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As she slowly reduces her playing career, Matthew, 49, knows that challenging for the title at Woburn this week would require an extraordinary effort but with the Solheim Cup looming on the horizon, the European captain for the match at Gleneagles in September, has plenty of other things to keep her occupied.

Her team for the tussle with the USA in September will be finalised after next week’s Ladies Scottish Open and she will name her four wild card picks the day after that.

One of those players requiring a favour from the skipper is English LPGA Tour winner Bronte Law, who has been grouped with Matthew for the first two rounds here at Woburn. “It will be a bit more nerve-wracking for her,” said Matthew with a smile.


With England’s Georgia Hall becoming just the fifth British female to win a major with her Women’s Open victory a year ago, golf and the good ladies who play it were given a significant lift on these shores.

There’s still plenty of work to do, though, and capitalising on successes enjoyed by the likes of Hall, as well as exploiting the exposure and opportunity that a Solheim Cup brings, is something Matthew hopes can be maximised.

“In the end you’d like it just to be called sport, rather than women’s sport,” said the North Berwick veteran, who has always been a softy-spoken yet robust campaigner for a fair crack of the whip for female golfers.

“As far as the Solheim Cup is concerned, you’d want it to be seen as just the Solheim Cup, you don’t need it to be seen as the women’s version of the Ryder Cup.

“Obviously the Women’s World Cup (in football) was a huge success and hopefully people who watched that might gravitate to watching women’s golf if they didn’t normally. Over the last 10 years or so, things have improved in terms of exposure.”

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With the R&A now in full control of the women’s showpiece, the St Andrews top brass took the eve of the championship to reveal that Royal Porthcawl in Wales will host the Women’s Open in 2021.

Another opportunity to get the exposure for women’s golf we’ve been talking about? Well, not quite.

The conversation inevitably led to questions around Porthcawl getting the men’s Open for the first time in the future after the rousing success of the championship’s visit to Portrush.

“The club is certainly interested in the potential of bringing The Open to Porthcawl, it’s something we would like to consider,” said club captain Rhys James with great enthusiasm.

“We have no plans to take the Open Championship to Royal Porthcawl,” replied the R&A’s Johnnie Cole-Hamilton in a swift response that set in motion a spell of awkward, collar tugging spluttering.

Men eh?