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SportSolheim Cup: Europe captain Matthew counting on raucous Gleneagles support

18:16  12 september  2019
18:16  12 september  2019 Source:   performgroup.com

McIlroy leads European support

McIlroy leads European support Rory McIlroy and many of his past Ryder Cup team-mates have sent messages of support to Europe's Solheim Cup team.

The Solheim Cup is a biennial golf tournament for professional women golfers contested by teams representing Europe and the United States.

The USA have dominated the Solheim Cup , and will be aiming for a third successive victory when the 16th meeting with Europe starts on Friday at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles . "I think home advantage does play a big part," suggested Matthew , a Scot who has played in nine Solheims .

Solheim Cup: Europe captain Matthew counting on raucous Gleneagles support © Getty Images Catriona Matthew is Team Europe's captain

Team Europe must embrace the pressure of the Solheim Cup if they are to overcome the United States, according to captain Catriona Matthew.

USA have won the last two editions of the event - the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup - in 2015 and 2017, and are favourites heading to Gleneagles.

However, Matthew believes Europe are more than capable of testing their rivals as long as they utilise the atmosphere of the home crowd in their favour.

Britain's greatest sportswomen (Read Sport)

Asked if she expected the crowd to be as voracious and partisan as at the Ryder Cup, Matthew told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Yes I do.

Lewis out of Solheim Cup because of back injury, McDonald in

Lewis out of Solheim Cup because of back injury, McDonald in Lewis out of Solheim Cup because of back injury, McDonald in

Team europe . Gleneagles . Scotland. 2019.

The USA have dominated the Solheim Cup , and will be aiming for a third successive victory when the 16th meeting with Europe starts on Friday at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles . "I think home advantage does play a big part," suggested Matthew , a Scot who has played in nine Solheims .

"It's very different from a regular golf crowd. Just because it's teams, the crowd get behind their team. The players love it, the more people out there screaming and shouting the better, to be honest.

"I think that’s what makes the event so special. We're expecting them to be biased with it being in Europe. [USA] are a strong side, but I feel confident in our team and we've got a really good make-up this year with some rookies and some experienced players, and they've all done really well in practice.

"Everyone's going to be nervous on that tee, so you've just got to try and embrace the crowd. I've been trying to get over to them that we'll need to get off to a fast start so you've got to enjoy the first tee but be focused and ready to go."

American Danielle Kang made no secret of her desire to retain the Solheim Cup, claiming in a news conference on Wednesday that she wished to "make players cry".

It is a comment which Matthew feels will only fuel Europe's motivation.

"That’s extra motivation for our team. I don't think there’s anyone on our side that hasn't seen that," she added.

Solheim Cup: Europe captain Matthew counting on raucous Gleneagles support © AP Team Europe Solheim cup captain Catriona Matthew during a press conference at Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Scotland, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. The Solheim cup runs from 13-15 Sept. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

"Not that we need motivating. The players don't really need to be motivated. It's just about keeping them relaxed, keeping them loose, be there for them and support them, try and have a good atmosphere and make sure everyone's getting on.

Late choker for Charley Hull as USA halt the European charge on first day at the Solheim Cup

Late choker for Charley Hull as USA halt the European charge on first day at the Solheim Cup Late choker for Charley Hull as USA halt the European charge on first day at the Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup is the pinnacle of women’s golf.The best players from Europe and the USA going head-to-head in match play format at Gleneagles 9th - 15th Sept 2019. It all leads to this moment at Gleneagles in Scotland, the Home of Golf.

And the Europe captain even managed to stifle a guffaw when her garlanded assistant declared that the home team were out to stop the visitors from “It would be right at the top,” Matthew said. “I’ve always loved the Solheim Cup and to be the winning captain at Gleneagles in Scotland would rank

"If you have good morale you're almost 1-0 up going onto the first tee."

HOW IT WORKS

The Solheim Cup has the same format as the Ryder Cup, with matches played over three days. There are 28 matches in total - eight foursomes, eight four-balls and 12 singles.

In total, there are 12 players on each side, with America's elite and Europe's best going head-to-head.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Solheim Cup has traditionally been seen as the pinnacle of team play in women's golf. However, the growing dominance of Asian players at the top of the game means those competing for glory this weekend are not necessarily the cream of the tour.

While the USA have five top-20 players in their team, Europe have only one - Spain's Carlota Ciganda. There are currently eight South Koreans in the top 20.

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Ryder Cup 2020: Harrington names Karlsson as first vice-captain.
Ryder Cup 2020: Harrington names Karlsson as first vice-captain , in France last year. © Getty Images VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Robert Karlsson speaks in a press conference after being announced as a 2018 Ryder Cup Vice Captain by Captain Thomas Bjorn during previews for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 22, 2018 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) The Irishman held a media conference at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the event marking the first at which European players can earn points towards selection for the 2020 team, on Wednesday.

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