Matthew hands Solheim Cup spot to vice-captain Suzann Pettersen and rewards Law

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EUROPEAN Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew named France’s Celine Boutier, English stars Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Bronte Law and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen as her four picks.

The quartet were named at a press conference at Gleneagles this afternoon, which was broadcast live on Sky Sports News and the Golf Channel.

The eight players who automatically qualified for next month’s 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, at the conclusion of Sunday’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open were Carlota Ciganda, Anne Van Dam, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist.

Scotland’s Matthew, who has played in nine Solheim Cups, explained the reasoning behind her four selections, saying “Bronte and Celine’s excellent recent form speaks for itself in terms of why I selected them, and I think they are both going to have fantastic Solheim Cup debuts.

“I chose Jodi and Suzann for their vast experience, their recent good form and because I know exactly what they bring to the European team room.

“With our only other rookie being Anne Van Dam, who has also had an excellent year, I feel the experience of our team will be a great advantage to us along with the home crowd support.”

Three of the captain’s picks were in the room when Matthew announced her final line-up while Yorkshire-born Ewart-Shadoff, who plays her golf on the LPGA, was not able to attend after having a minor procedure last week.

Ewart-Shadoff said: “I am gutted not to be there for team practice today but I will be back hitting balls next week and I am really excited to be part of Catriona’s team.

“I think the team looks incredibly strong, probably the strongest team I’ve been a part of and I’m honoured to have been chose by the captain to be part of it.

“This will be my first Solheim Cup in Europe and just to experience the home crowd will be amazing and a big advantage for us.”

Law, who recorded her maiden LPGA Tour win at the Pure Silk Championshi in May, said: “I couldn’t be happier to be making my Solheim Cup debut here at the beautiful Gleneagles.

“I am so grateful to Catriona and all the vice-captains for picking me and I can’t wait for it to start.

“To be part of this great team with so many Solheim Cup legends is pretty surreal but they have all been very generous in giving me advice ahead of making my debut.”

Boutier said: “I have been dreaming of playing Solheim Cup since I was a little girl and it really is amazing to be here at this press conference and know that my dream will come true in a month’s time!

“Getting out there to practise with the team on the PGA Centenary course where I watched so much of the Ryder Cup was fantastic – and I think this course is going to suit me very well.”

Pettersen said: “Catriona knows that matchplay brings out the absolute best in my game and that I will be ready to deliver points for her come September.

“I honestly believe my best contribution to our Solheim Cup campaign will be on the course and I am very grateful to Catriona for having the confidence to choose me for this year’s team.”

With Pettersen stepping out of her non-playing role, Matthew announced that Mel Reid would now be her final vice-captain, joining Dame Laura Davies and Kathryn Imrie in the team room and on the sidelines.

The final qualifying event for the USA team will end with the CP Women’s Open in Canada, from August 22-26, with many players still fighting to join their team in defending the Solheim Cup in Scotland, from September 9-15.

Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lisette Salas and Jessica Korda are all safely qualified while past US Solheim Cup team standouts Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis, would need to win the CP Women’s Open to claim their place without needing a captain’s pick from Juli Inkster.

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