19 Jul 2019

SOLHEIM CUP CAPTAIN CATRIONA MATTHEW CONFIRMED FOR ISPS HANDA WORLD INVITATIONALĀ 

Stars align with more household names set for new global event in August


ISPS HANDA World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management


European Solheim Cup captain and Major champion Catriona Matthew has confirmed she will compete in next month’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational Men | Women, presented by Modest! Golf as a stellar field continues to gather for one of the most exciting events of the year.

Matthew is one of the most recognised women professionals in this part of the world. The 49-year-old has won events worldwide, including her greatest hour in 2009 when she secured the Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. She became the first player from Scotland to win a women’s Major.

The Scottish golfer has been one of the standard bearers in Europe for a number of decades and has enjoyed success competing on the main Ladies European Tour (LET) and LPGA Tour in the States. The 2019 Solheim Cup captain will be one of the major draws when she tees it up in the World Invitational at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort and Massereene Golf Club from August 14-18.

“It will be a great time for me to compete in the new ISPS HANDA World Invitational in August and for the chance to tee it up alongside the men, especially after I announce my European Solheim Cup team the day before,” said Matthew, who will take on the Americans at Gleneagles in her home country in September 13-15. 

“I have been playing tournament golf around the world all of my career and I am particularly looking forward to this new format at the World Invitational. This is a wonderful new concept and a first of its kind format in Europe. 

“We have all seen how well the format has worked for the Vic Open in Australia and I am sure the World Invitational at Galgorm and Massereeene will be a great success. It is also a great addition to the schedule for the women’s game and for the chance to compete for equal prize money.

Matthew is no stranger to competing in Ireland and the North Berwick native has enjoyed much success on Irish shores. In 2011 she was part of the 2011 Solheim Cup team that defeated the Americans at Killeen Castle in County Meath. She played a starring role and was undefeated for the week with two wins and two halved matches. Matthew has played in nine Solheim Cups and been on the winning side three times.

A year later the Scot returned to the same venue, but this time to take care of business in her own right when she won the Ladies Irish Open, one of six LET titles.     

“I have played many times in Ireland over the years and I am very much looking forward to getting back to Northern Ireland. I know Galgorm has a great reputation for hosting the NI Open on the European Challenge Tour for almost a decade.”
       
Matthew is one of many high-profile names entered to compete in the ISPS Handa World Invitational where men and women will compete for equal prize money in the $500,000 event.     

“We are absolutely thrilled Catriona will play in the World Invitational. When it comes to household names in the women’s game, there are few bigger than a Major champion and current Solheim Cup captain,” enthused Niall Horan, Modest! Golf founder and Presenting Sponsor of the innovative new event.

“Catriona is one of the stars of the women’s game. She has achieved so much and has also given back to the game and it is entirely fitting she will captain the European Solheim Cup team in her home country. 

“As Presenting Sponsors of the World Invitational, we are delighted Catriona will be part of this wonderful week for Irish golf where so many great players from both the men’s and women’s games will be on show,” added Horan.  

Other high-profile names recently entered include the likes of American Beth Allen and Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord. Allen (37) has won three times in Europe and secured the LET Order of Merit in 2016. 

High flying Skarpnord is currently third in the standings and pushing for a Solheim Cup place to take on the Americans at Gleneagles in Scotland in September. Skarpnord won the Ladies Classic – Bonville and has a number of top 10s this season. The 33-year-old is also partner to European Tour winner Richard Green from Australia and the pair are both in line to compete in the World Invitational. 

In a historic year for golf Ireland with The Open set to take place at Royal Portrush next week, the ISPS Handa World Invitational just weeks later will be a unique opportunity to witness some of the best men and women players. It’s a truly innovative format, which is pioneering the way for the future of professional golf in Europe. 

Tickets for the ISPS Handa World Invitational are already selling fast. Advanced ticket sales can be made at worldinvitational.golf where spectators can take advantage of the early bird offers and be part of another exceptional week for Irish golf.

Field:
300 Competitors (approx)
168 Male 
132 Female 
(Please note: Field will also include several elite amateur invites)

Format:
Two 72-hole strokeplay events for men and women
First two rounds played over Galgorm and Massereene, all competitors to play both venues
Final two rounds (Saturday & Sunday) played at Galgorm
Cut after round 2 (Friday) Top 60 men and women (120 total, two tee start)
Cut after round 3 (Saturday) Top 35 men and women (70 total, first tee only start)
Three balls, all men and all women
Groups on timesheets at both venues over four days to alternate between men and women

Tournament Schedule:
Monday, August 12:        Practice Day
Tuesday, August 13:         Practice Day
Wednesday, August 14:     Pro-Am / Practice 
Thursday, August 15:         Round 1 (Galgorm/Massereene)
Friday, August 16:         Round 2 (Galgorm/Massereene) 36-hole cut 
Saturday, August 17:         Round 3 (Galgorm only) 54-hole cut  
Sunday, August 18:         Final round (Galgorm only)

Prize Fund
$500,000 (split equally between men and women)

Winners announced as:
2019 ISPS HANDA World Invitational Men’s Champion
2019 ISPS HANDA World Invitational Women’s Champion

Course
Galgorm (approximate yardages), Men 7,100 yards (par 70), Women 6,402 yards (par 73)
Massereene (approximate yardages), Men 6,600 yards (par 70), Women 6,330 yards (par 72)