Top 5 moments at Gleneagles

The fierce transatlantic rivalry between the best players from Europe and the USA will be renewed in September when the Solheim Cup returns to Scotland for the first time since 2000.

Juli Inkster and Catriona Matthew will lead their teams into battle for the 16th edition of the contest, which promises to be one of the highlights of the world’s 2019 sporting calendar.

The PGA Centenary Course at the iconic Gleneagles resort in Perthshire will host the 28 matches over three days, featuring eight foursomes, eight fourballs and 12 singles clashes.

It is not the first time Gleneagles has been under the golfing spotlight, with the venue renowned for providing the setting for a catalogue of famous moments over the years.

Europe sealed a thrilling Ryder Cup victory in 2014 on the same course and ahead of the arrival of the Solheim Cup, here’s a look at the top five moments at Gleneagles.

MATTHEW OPENS ACCOUNT

Where better to start than with Team Europe’s captain Catriona Matthew, who won her first Ladies European Tour title at Gleneagles more than two decades ago.

Matthew, who made her ninth appearance as a player for the European team in Iowa in 2017, clinched the McDonald’s WPGA Championship amid the rolling Perthshire Hills in 1998.

The then-27-year-old overcame fellow Solheim Cup legends Helen Alfredsson and Laura Davies – her vice-captain for this year’s contest - to win the first of her six LET victories by five shots.

LAWRIE SEALS EUROPEAN PLACE

Paul Lawrie rolled back the years at Gleneagles in 2012 when he coasted to a commanding victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship, becoming only the second Scottish winner of the event.

His eighth European Tour win of his career, and his second of that season, came by a margin of four strokes over his nearest rival, Brett Rumford, having held the overnight lead.

The triumph was even more momentous as it sealed his place in the Ryder Cup the following month where he played a part in the European team that performed the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.

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MCGINLEY’S TROOPS TRIUMPH

Scotland staged the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1973, and only the second time ever, when Europe’s best players went head to head with their American rivals in 2014.

Gleneagles produced a memorable occasion as Paul McGinley’s side emerged triumphant after three action-packed days, with Europe retaining the trophy with a 16.5-11.5 victory.

It was Europe’s third consecutive win and included a record-breaking partnership from Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who shot a combined 12 under par in the Saturday morning fourballs.

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THE POSTMAN DELIVERS AGAIN

Expectation was high on Ian Poulter ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, with the talismanic Englishman renowned for rising to the occasion time and time again in the competition.

Such was his reputation, he earned the nickname of The Postman, but he had to wait until the 15th hole on the Saturday morning before he delivered his trademark double-fisted air punch.

Poulter, playing alongside Rory McIlroy, chipped in from 50 yards for birdie to prevent the fourball pairing going two down, before making another birdie on the 16th to pick up a vital half.

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ALL BRITISH EURO BATTLE

All eyes were on Gleneagles in 2018 when, as part of the multi-sport European Championships, it hosted the inaugural European Golf Team Championships at the PGA Centenary Course.

Backed by the European Tour and Ladies European Tour, it saw men and women compete for their countries on the same course simultaneously in top-level competition for the first time.

And one of the highlights of the event saw Michele Thomson and Meghan MacLaren defeat fellow Brits Georgia Hall and Laura Davies in the women’s foursomes bronze medal match. 
 

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