Two-time European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew OBE, winner of 11 titles on the LPGA Tour and LET, including the 2009 AIG Women’s Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, is one of four golf greats to accept invitations to become honorary members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews the club announced on Friday. Joining Matthew are Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Nick Price, the latter of whom also serves on the USGA executive committee.
Clive Edginton, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club said, “I would like to congratulate Catriona, Ernie, Padraig and Nick on becoming Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. They have each distinguished themselves with their long and hugely successful careers in golf. As well as being great champions, they are superb role models for any young golfers to follow and embody so many of the qualities which make golf such a special sport.
“They have done a great deal to help promote golf around the world and this recognition is extremely well deserved.”
In addition to her stellar professional career, which she balanced with being a wife and mother while remaining based in her hometown of North Berwick, Scotland, Matthew also had a memorable amateur career. She represented Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup on three occasions, won the Scottish Ladies Amateur title three times and the British Ladies Amateur title in 1993. As a professional, Matthew was the Ladies European Tour Player of the Year in 2009 and climbed as high as No. 11 in the Rolex Rankings.
A nine-time veteran player on the European Solheim Cup team with an overall record of 18-11-8, Matthew played on three winning sides. But little in her career matches the events of the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, just an hour and a half drive from her home along the scenic M9. There, amid the late-day shadows from the Ochill Hills, Matthew shepherded her squad of 12 European players to the most memorable victory in the event’s history and the most watched and attended women’s sporting event ever played in Scotland.
Matthew will return to the helm of the European Solheim Cup team in 2021 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Upon accepting the invitation to join The R&A, Matthew said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be made an Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and I feel very privileged to be joining such an illustrious group of Honorary Members who are such renowned figures in the game of golf.
“I was fortunate enough to be one of the first recipients of an R&A Scholarship at the University of Stirling and it gave me some fantastic opportunities to develop my career as a young golfer.“The Club and The R&A do so much to grow the game and I’m hugely supportive of the work they are doing to support women’s golf and particularly the AIG Women’s Open.”