Solheim Cup 'always in minds' of players - Europe captain Catriona Matthew

Catriona Matthew will lead Europe at Gleneagles
Matthew has experience of playing in nine Solheim Cup tournaments

Captain Catriona Matthew says having the Solheim Cup at the end of the season gives players an "extra edge".

The biennial clash between Europe and the USA will take place at Gleneagles from 9-15 September.

Matthew will lead the European team, for which she played nine times, and says players will be desperate for selection.

"It's always in their minds, everyone is looking to see who is in and who is on the fringes," Matthew said.

"It definitely adds an extra edge to everyone trying to make the team and get the points to get in there."

The Solheim Cup has twice previously been played in Scotland, with Europe coming out on top on both occasions at Dalmahoy in 1992 and Loch Lomond in 2000, when Matthew's fellow Scot Dale Reid captained the team.

The USA have won the last two editions, and six of the last 10. However, Matthew, 48, is pleased with the form of potential team members.

England's Charley Hull earned a win in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi to claim her second Ladies European Tour title in January, and Open Champion Georgia Hall finished last season strongly in Florida.

"I played in Abu Dhabi myself and Charley played really well," Matthew added. "It was pretty windy when we were there so that was a great result and gives her confidence for the year ahead."

Scottish golf have launched an initiative to encourage clubs around the country to become involved in the build up to this year's event at Gleneagles.

Each golf club in Scotland is to have a Solheim ambassador to encourage members to attend the event, which Matthews believes is a "fantastic" initiative.

"It's a great event to come and watch for people who haven't been there," she said. "Match-play golf is always that little bit more exciting than stroke-play and it's a team event and great fun."

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