WEST DES MOINES, IOWA | Rumours circulating this morning turned out to be true, with confirmation coming from none other than Annika Sörenstam, the European captain. Suzann Pettersen will not be playing in this week’s Solheim Cup because of back problem which resurfaced in her native Norway last weekend.
Pettersen’s place is being taken by Catriona Matthew, the 47-year-old Scot who had been nominated as the first reserve but had headed out to Des Moines Golf and Country Club in the expectation of serving as one Annika Sörenstam’s vice captains.
Pettersen, who was walking round and giving advice to rookie Madelene Sagstrom on Wednesday, put the following statement out on Twitter:
“I arrived in Des Moines on Monday evening after receiving treatment for a recurring slipped disc injury which occurred in Norway over the weekend. Despite receiving further treatment from the team osteopath on site, I withdrew on Wednesday morning.
“I have made this extremely difficult decision to help the European team and give my teammates 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%.
“I truly love the Solheim Cup and I will stay to support my team in whatever way I can.”
Like Pettersen, Matthew has 19 wins to her name in a Solheim Cup context. The winner of the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open has not been having the best of seasons but she has always been respected for her match-play prowess.
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