In receiving one of the game’s top honors, LPGA veteran Catriona Matthew has added her name to a short list of players including Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance.
Friday, Matthew was recognized with Scottish Golf’s Lifetime Achievement Award, becoming the first female to receive the distinction.
“Yeah I mean obviously it made me feel a bit old, I’m still playing,” Matthew laughed. “But you know obviously very honored. Anytime you’re in the same breath as some of those, kind of the who’s who of Scottish golf, it was great.”
The recognition took on a special meaning for Matthew with the merging of the Ladies Golf Union and the R&A, which includes Scottish Golf.
“Yeah the first female and the two unions have just amalgamated so it was a big deal at home, we’re all under one kind of Scottish Golf rather than the ladies and the men’s separate. So it was a great night.”
The 1995 rookie has four LPGA victories including the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open, in addition to seven Solheim Cup appearances. But for Matthew, her accomplishments are far from behind her, working hard to secure her spot in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
“They’re a big motivator, I mean I’ve played in everything else and done everything else in golf so it’s going to be my only chance to make the team so yeah, it’s certainly pushing me on this year.”
Currently No. 68 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Matthew would join Charley Hull as one of two players to represent Great Britain in Rio. But the Olympics aren’t the only goal for Matthew, who is working to put herself in the hunt more in 2016.
“I was in contention there in the Bahamas and Australia so that was kind of my goal this year. Wasn’t really, never really had a chance last year at all so, you know. This year my goal is to be in contention on Sunday which I’ve done two of the first three so a good start.”
Matthew tees it up at this week’s JTBC Founders Cup in the first of a three-event stretch before she will take two weeks off. It’s the same sort of schedule the 46-year old says she’s planning to keep throughout the season.