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  • Alistair Tait

Another Kicking For Women's Golf

You must be wondering how the England football team won BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year, and Gareth Southgate coach of the year, when Catriona Matthew led 12 Europeans to a historic victory on American soil?

You’re not alone.

Golf fans must be wondering what else the European Solheim Cup team had to do to get the recognition they deserved from the Beeb. Maybe if they’d won 28-0 they might have just pipped the England football team to the gong.

Nah! Who am I kidding.

Fellow golf writers Martin Dempster and Jamie Corrigan said it all on Twitter after Matthew and her side was overlooked. Dempster, the Scotsman’s golf writer, tweeted:

Unlike Southgate messing up his penalty kick tactics in the final of Euro 2020, Matthew didn’t do much wrong at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. She made history by becoming the first Solheim Cup captain to successfully defend the trophy. No wonder Telegraph writer Corrigan tweeted the following:

Matthews team was underdogs going into the match, but she guided them to victory yet again.

Paul McGinley was named coach of the year in 2014 for leading the European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles. The Dubliner did a fantastic job and was worthy of the award. So was Matthew this year and two years ago, also at Gleneagles. She was overlooked in 2019 too.

Once again, Matthew doesn’t get the recognition she deserves, just as her victory in the 2009 Ricoh Women’s Open hasn’t been given due recognition. Remember, she won her first major just 11 weeks after giving birth to daughter Sophie. Oh, and she had the added pressure of trying to become the first Scottish woman to win a major.

Sponsors should have been queuing at Matthew's door. They weren’t. As former IMG agent Guy Kinnings said, if Luke Donald had won a major he’d have probably picked up £2 million in sponsorship deals.

Matthew got nothing.

I didn’t watch BBC Sports Personality of the Year. I haven’t done so for years. Too predictable and too much naval gazing from an organisation that barely covers sport nowadays. It certainly doesn’t cover much golf, that’s for sure. Maybe those in charge of the awards didn’t know the Solheim Cup had been played this year. Maybe they just don’t care.

Former Solheim Cup player Lora Fairclough spoke for me when she tweeted:

The snub isn’t just for Matthew and the European team, but for women’s golf in general. We keep hearing the mantra of getting women and girls into golf. Recognition for Matthew and her side might have helped that cause in some small way.

Still, those of us who follow golf know the real sports team of the year and coach of the year, and it certainly wasn’t the England football team and Gareth Southgate.



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