Golf-Europe happy to be seen as underdogs at Solheim Cup, says Matthew


  • Golf
  • Thursday, 19 Aug 2021

FILE PHOTO: Golf - Solheim Cup - Gleneagles, Britain - September 15, 2019 Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew holds up the trophy as team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

(Reuters) - Europe are happy to accept the underdogs tag at the upcoming Solheim Cup despite being defending champions, their captain Catriona Matthew said on Wednesday.

The biennial tournament between Europe and the United States kicks off in less than two weeks at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, with Matthew set to name her team on Monday.

The American team, who have won the tournament 10 times, will lean on world number one Nelly Korda, who is riding a wave of confidence after winning the Women's PGA Championship and a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I think on paper the Americans are always the stronger team but 18 holes match play anyone can win," Matthew told a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the AIG Women's British Open.

"I'm sure we'll probably go in as the underdog, especially with it being an away game... (but) I'm really looking forward to it."

In Korda, she added, women's golf had a player with the potential to raise the sport's profile, much in the same manner as Tiger Woods did for the men's game.

"I think it is good for women's golf to have a dominant player," Matthew said.

"You saw how Tiger elevated the PGA TOUR. If you have someone that becomes dominant, she starts to be known by non-golfers, which then maybe encourages them to come and watch golf."

Matthew confirmed she had nearly nailed down her team for the Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 tournament, but would not be drawn into revealing any of her selections.

"I think we are going to have a great team, a real mixture of some experienced players and some new, younger exciting players," she said.

"The hardest bit is telling those two or three players that they have not quite made it. You know, in a way, I'll be quite relieved when that's over.

"But apart from that I think the team is shaping up really well. We'll probably have a few new faces but a lot of players are playing well and I'm confident."

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska; Editing by Toby Davis)

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