European Solheim Cup Captain Annika Sörenstam has announced that Catriona Matthew will replace Suzann Pettersen at The 2017 Solheim Cup at Des Moines Golf & Country Club
Sorenstam chose Vice-Captain and Ryder Cup stalwart Matthew as her alternate when she selected her team following the conclusion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and has now called upon Matthew to replace the injured Suzann Pettersen.
According to a statement on the Ladies European Tour website, the eight-time Solheim Cup player Pettersen needed treatment for a slipped disc injury that happened over the weekend- and despite treatment does not feel fit to play.
The statement said: "She arrived in Des Moines on Monday evening after receiving treatment for a recurrent slipped disc injury which occurred in Norway over the weekend. Despite receiving further treatment from the team osteopath on site, she withdrew on Wednesday morning due to experiencing persistent pain."
Pettersen said: “I have made this extremely difficult decision to help the European team and give my team mates the best possible chance of success. There was no guarantee that I would be fit to compete on Friday morning and I did not want to play unless I was able to give 100 per cent. I truly love The Solheim Cup and I will stay and support my team this week in whatever way I can.”
Matthew, who was originally set to miss this years event, had been seen playing a full practice round earlier this week - which had led to speculation Sorenstam may call her up to make her ninth Solheim Cup appearance after all.
Sörenstam said: “It’s unfortunate that Suzann has to withdraw due to her back injury. The Solheim Cup has been such an important part of her career. It was a very tough decision, but I am proud of her and she will still be a leader this week.
“Catriona is a proven Solheim Cup performer who will be able to step right in and play with anybody. She’s ready to go.”
Matthew has an impressive record in Solheim Cups: She has earned 19 points from 33 matches played from 1998-2015, and was a member of three winning teams in 2003, 2011 and 2013 - memorably holing the winning putt in The 2003 Solheim Cup at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club in Sweden
The announcement comes a few days after it was announced that alternate Paula Creamer would be replacement the injured Jessica Korda.