Solheim Cup snub in 2019 saw Mel Reid initially reject a vice-captain role
Mel Reid has revealed she was so upset at not being selected for the 2019 Solheim Cup that she briefly turned down the offer of being a vice-captain instead.
Reid was overlooked for one of the four wild cards by European captain Catriona Matthew, who initially got short shrift when asking the Englishwoman to be part of her backroom staff.
“Yeah, I was p*****,” Reid said ahead of Europe’s trophy defence at Inverness Club in Toledo this weekend.
“I wanted to be on the team, obviously. I probably wasn’t playing great, but I just feel like Solheim Cup just brings something different out in myself. I do really believe that I would have played well at that Solheim Cup.
“There were other players in that team that probably did deserve a pick more than me. At the end of the day if you’re not actually in the automatic qualification, you shouldn’t really expect a pick.
“That’s kind of my attitude is you should have got yourself, you should have played well enough to get yourself in the automatic qualification.
“But yeah, obviously it hurt. When she (Matthew) first called me I said no and then I rang her back quite literally probably 30 seconds later and I was like, I am really sorry. Actually I will do it.
“I think in a situation like that it’s an ego thing really and you’ve got to put your ego aside. I know that I can be an asset to the team. I know that I can help players on the team, even if I was playing a slightly different role.”
Matthew’s decision to give one of her wild cards to Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who had previously been named as a vice-captain, was vindicated in amazing fashion when Pettersen birdied the final hole of the last singles match to secure a one-point victory.
Pettersen, who had barely played in the previous two years after taking time off to have her first child, then promptly announced her retirement from professional golf.
“You know what, it did give me a different perspective,” Reid added. “It gave me a perspective on how hard the captain, the vice-captains, the helpers, the LET staff… like we would not be able to function as smoothly as we do without all of their help.
“I certainly was honoured to play that role, but I would much rather be teeing it up inside the ropes than handing out bananas and having a radio in my ear. I’m just grateful that I’m able to be here this time.”
Reid was full of praise for Matthew’s captaincy at Gleneagles as the 52-year-old Scot attempts to lead Europe to only their second victory on US soil, the first coming in Colorado in 2013 when Matthew herself holed the winning putt.
“I think we have had captains in the past that have tried to do what they want, like the captain does things, so they make the players do that,” Reid added. “I think that’s a big no-no as a captain.
“I think that’s why Catriona is so good. She knows we all know how to prepare. Honestly, she’s by far the best captain that I’ve ever been part of as a team, and was just hugely impressed with her at Gleneagles. I texted her straight after saying I want to be a player with you as a captain.”
While Reid is making her fourth appearance in the Solheim Cup, Leona Maguire is one of four rookies in the team and also the first Irish woman to play in the contest.
“It’s obviously a huge honour,” Maguire said. “I think it’s something I’ll probably not dwell on too much right now. I’ll look back probably in 20, 30 years when I’m done playing and realise how special it was.
“This is something I’ve looked forward to for a long time. Got a little glimpse of it when I played the Junior Solheims, and yeah, really good to be part of the big team now.
“I think there will be a lot of good memories after this week, and hopefully some of them will be on the golf course, but I think a lot of them will be off the golf course, too.”
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