The secrets to winning golf's Solheim Cup

    Can Catriona Matthew succeed at Solheim 2017?
    Can Catriona Matthew succeed at Solheim 2017?

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      Can Catriona Matthew succeed at Solheim 2017?

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    Can Catriona Matthew succeed at Solheim 2017? 02:33

    Story highlights

    • 15th Solheim Cup began on August 18
    • Team USA hopes to defend title in Des Moines
    • Europe's Catriona Matthew speak to CNN

    (CNN)If there's one European golfer who knows about winning Solheim Cup matches, it's Catriona Matthew.

    The Brit won three of her head-to-head encounters in the 2015 edition and has helped Europe to three trophies since making her debut in the competition in 1998.
      The Solheim Cup is the premier team competition in women's golf, pitting the finest European and American golfers against each other.
      This year's event tees off at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa on August 18 where Matthew, serving as both a player and a vice captain for Team Europe, will likely have plenty of advice to offer her teammates.
      "There's got to be that little bit of chemistry in the pairings," Matthew tells CNN Living Golf.
      "But it's the team that putts the best that wins. It's about holing the right putt at the right time for that momentum. I think momentum is huge."
      Catriona Matthew (second from left) celebrates Solheim Cup victory in 2013 with her husband and caddy Graeme Matthew.
      Like the men's Ryder Cup, teams go head-to-head in pairs and singles -- how you perform as a team is an essential ingredient to success.
      "For us, the Solheim Cup is the biggest crowds we play under," explains Matthew. "It gives you that extra bit of focus. You're playing not just for yourself, but for other people. That gives it an added intensity as well."
      USA is the defending champion and has the historic edge over its rivals, winning nine trophies to Europe's five.
      But the visitors recorded their biggest ever victory the last time the tournament was held in the States -- an 18-10 triumph at Colorado in 2013.
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      2015 Controversy

      The 2015 Solheim Cup was embroiled in controversy. On the final day, American Alison Lee picked up her ball thinking Europe had conceded a putt, only for Suzann Pettersen to tell her she had not.
      USA, forced to concede the hole, accused Europe of unsporting behavior, but the incident didn't affect the final result, as America rallied from a 10-6 deficit to win 14.5-13.5.
      Matthew was one of Europe's stand-out players in 2015, and admits it's a format of golf that's always suited her game.
      "Growing up in Scotland, you played a lot of matchplay golf, a lot of team golf," she says.
      "I've always loved that. If you hit a bad shot it doesn't matter, you're playing the person rather than the golf course."