Defending champ Matthew MCs at Open

Defending champion Catriona Matthew looks at an unplayable lie at the 13th hole at Royal Birkdale.

SOUTHPORT, England – It’s hard to imagine anyone in the history of golf handling a 10 better than Catriona Matthew. The defending champion met with the press in the clubhouse shortly after finishing her round. She was gracious. She was pleasant. She was honest. 

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Catriona Matthew

“I should’ve made the cut quite easily,” Matthew said. “Just didn’t putt well and it just kind of filtered down into the rest of my game.”

Matthew walked to the 13th tee 5 over for the tournament. She drove the ball left into a bramble bush. She hacked it out into the fairway and then sprayed a 6-iron right into high rough. She missed the ball completely with her fourth swipe. Her fifth shot found an even worse lie, and her sixth hack landed into an unplayable one. She took her penalty drop, chipped on the green and two-putted. 

“I think it was a 10,” Matthew said. “Round about there.”

Whatever it was, she knew it meant the weekend off. Matthew walked to the next hole and made an inconsequential birdie. She shot 81 and finished 12 over.

“Not the way I wanted to defend, but what can you do?” she asked, not expecting an answer. “Shame because I was hitting the ball so well. Just haven’t quite taken it to the course."

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