Laura Davies backs Catriona Matthew to retain Europe captaincy

Laura Davies backs Catriona Matthew to retain Europe captaincy

Assistant captain Laura Davies wants to see victorious Europe skipper Catriona Matthew lead the team again as they bid to retain the Solheim Cup on American soil in 2021.

Scot Matthew steered the hosts to a dramatic 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles, with her controversial wild card pick Suzann Pettersen holing the winning putt on Sunday.

Experienced campaigner Pettersen was chosen to make her ninth appearance in the biennial contest despite having played just twice since November 2017 before the wild cards were named after taking time off to have her first child.

But the decision to select her paid dividends as the 38-year-old Norwegian made a crucial six-foot putt at the 18th to ensure the cup returned to Europe, before later announcing her retirement from professional golf.

And Davies, who formed part of Matthew’s backroom team in Scotland, would like to see the 50-year-old keep the role for the trip to Inverness Club in Toledo in two years’ time.

When asked whether she would like to see Matthew retain the captaincy, Davies said: “I would, yeah. I think she’d be very good.

“She’s just so calm and collected in the way she does everything. She keeps everyone at ease.

“She doesn’t get too worked up about anything, that’s just her personality and that rubs off on the players.

“The communication was good, everyone knew what they were doing at all times.

“She had a couple of tough questions, and a couple of players were sat when they probably didn’t want to be but that’s part of being a captain.

“You have to be strong and she is. She might look like she just cruises along but if there’s a decision to be made, she proved this week she can make it.”

As the celebrations got under way on Sunday evening, Pettersen called time on her professional career, insisting it was the ideal way to bow out.

“I think this is a perfect end for my professional career – it does not get any better,” said Pettersen at a post-event press conference.

“I mean, can you ask for more? The last putt to win the cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of this crowd, I could never in a million miles dream it.

“I never thought I was going to be here four months ago. To have the confidence from Beany (Matthew) to give me a go, this is it. I am completely done. I don’t have any plans from tomorrow. I am pretty much closing it down.”

- Press Association

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