Dual Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew expressed her concerns should the 2020 Ryder Cup be postponed to 2021.
Matthew was afforded the opportunity to remain as Europe’s captain following the team’s thrilling one-point success over the visiting Americans in the 16th hosting of the event in 2019 at Gleneagles.
It was only a sixth European Team win in the history of the event with five of the victories, and four of those in Scotland, being on home soil.
The inaugural Solheim Cup had been staged in 1990 but after being held in 2002 – the same year of the postponed 2001 Ryder Cup (post 9/11) – it was decided the Solheim Cup should move to an ‘odd-numbered’ year that resulted in the eighth Solheim Cup being played in 2003 at Barseback in Sweden.
What concerns Matthew is that if the continuing Coronavirus pandemic should see the 2020 Ryder Cup pushed back a year, what then happens to the 2021 Solheim Cup that is due to be played from August 31st to September 6th at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
It is clear Matthew believes the Solheim Cup now commands such respect it should not play second fiddle to a Ryder Cup.
“That is something the Tours will think about because after what happened in 2001 both the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup were played in the same year and then switched to opposite years,” said Matthew.
“Nowadays, the Solheim is a far bigger event than it was in 2002.
“I don’t make the decisions, but it would not surprise me that, if the Ryder Cup moved, they would look at moving the Solheim to the next year.
“It is certainly something that I think would be spoken about rather than have them both in the same year.
“I don’t think I would have a problem. The qualification process would be easier for the players again as they would have this year as void and start again from next year.
“This is certainly a tricky year and the main focus is just trying to get things back to normal for the whole world, really.”
Matthew played in nine Solheim Cups since making her debut in 1990 and enjoyed success on three occasions before the overwhelming joy of a fourth as the 2019 captain, four years after Ireland’s own Paul McGinley had led Europe to an emphatic victory in the 2014 Ryder Cup win.