Throwback Thursday: Scotland’s greatest Solheim Cup stars

It’s hard to think of a more fitting setting for the 2019 Solheim Cup than Scotland, the Home of Golf.

The pinnacle of women’s golf will return to the country for the first time in almost two decades when the best players from Europe and America do battle once again in September.

Gleneagles’ magnificent PGA Centenary Course, on which Europe sealed a stunning Ryder Cup victory in 2014, will host the 16th edition of the biennial transatlantic contest.

And it is expected to be one of the highlights of this year’s sporting calendar as Catriona Matthew’s Europe attempt to prevent Juli Inkster’s USA from completing a hat-trick of victories.

But Scotland is not just a great location for golf; it has also produced plenty of legendary Solheim Cup stars over the years, with Matthew leading the way in the pantheon of greats.

With this year’s Solheim Cup fast approaching, here’s a look at a few of the Scottish golfers who have revelled under the intense pressure to deliver the goods for Team Europe.

CATRIONA MATTHEW

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Where better to start than captain fantastic herself? A veteran of nine Solheim Cups as a player, Matthew will make her debut as captain at the 2019 edition on home soil.

She made her debut in the event in 1998 and experienced a baptism of fire, winning just one point as Europe were beaten 16-12 by Team USA at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

But Matthew roared back when she made her second appearance five years later, racking up 3.5 points - including the winning point - in a dominant European victory in Sweden.

Matthew went on to become one of Europe’s most consistent performers, playing eight consecutive Solheim Cups from 2003 and taking her overall points tally to 22.

One of the highlights of her playing career came in 2011 when she defeated unbeaten American sensation Paula Creamer 6&5 for her fifth singles victory in a row at the event.

She was named as vice-captain for the 2017 edition, but ended up playing the match after an injury to Suzann Pettersen, winning three points to seal her legendary status.

JANICE MOODIE

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A three-time Solheim Cup player, Janice Moodie may not have made as many appearances as Matthew but she has certainly made an significant impact on the European team.

She made her debut in 2000 on home soil and enjoyed a perfect start at Loch Lomond Golf Club, winning her opening foursomes match alongside Annika Sörenstam 1-up at the last.

The European pairing repeated the trick in the afternoon foursomes, beating American pairing Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel for the second time in a day by the same margin.

While the duo were unable to make it a hat-trick of victories together in the Saturday fourballs, Moodie bounced back with a victory in her singles match for her third point of the week.

The Glasgow native was even more impressive on her Solheim Cup return in 2003, finishing unbeaten at Barsebäck Golf & Country Club with 3.5 points from four matches.

Moodie had to wait another six years to make her third Solheim Cup appearance, but she added another 1.5 points to her tally in the only time she finished on the losing team.

DALE REID 

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One of the most decorated golfers in the history of the Ladies European Tour, Dale Reid is undoubtedly a certified legend when it comes to Scottish women’s golf.

The Ladybank native also represented Europe in the first four Solheim Cups, but it was as captain in 2000 and 2002 when she really left her stamp on the competition.

Reid made her debut as a player at the inaugural running of the event in 1990 and claimed one of Europe’s 4.5 points with a victory against Patty Sheehan in the singles at Lake Nona.

Another singles triumph followed in 1992 as she helped Europe win the Solheim Cup for the first time at Dalmahoy, before picking up two more points in 1994 in West Virginia.

Her final appearance came in 1996 at St Pierre in Chepstow, where she lost her only match in the singles, before returning to the fore in 2000 as the home captain in Dunbartonshire.

Reid guided Europe to only their second Solheim Cup victory with a memorable 14.5-11.5 victory, although back-to-back wins as skipper eluded her as USA regained the trophy in 2002.

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