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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Matthew draws on local know-how
Catriona Matthew has twice won amateur titles at St Andrews
Matthew will have plenty of support from the galleries
Catriona Matthew is counting on local knowledge in this week's Ricoh Women's British Open at St Andrews.

The Scot, 37, twice won the St Rule Trophy as an amateur at the course.

"It's playing a lot longer this week, and a cross-wind makes it really tough. If it stays like this, then I'll take four rounds of par," she said.

US three-time winner Sherri Steinhauer defends her title. Aussie Karrie Webb won the event the last time it was held in Scotland, at Turnberry in 2002.

The prestigious tournament is the first professional women's championship ever to be played at St Andrews.

This is one of those golf courses where you're not sure you're going to get the opportunity to play

Natalie Gulbris

And Evian Masters champion Natalie Gulbris is looking forward to tackling he Old Course.

"It's been on the schedule for a couple of years now and we're really excited about coming over here and having an LPGA event and a major here at St Andrews," she said.

"The players have been excited all year. This is one of those golf courses where you're not sure you're going to get the opportunity to play."

Michelle Wie joined the chorus of admiration for St Andrews.

"It is the greatest honour being able to play here," she said. "Just watching it on TV and actually playing it is completely different.

"It's the most interesting golf course I've ever played."

606: DEBATE

Wie, who meteoric rise has been followed this year by a dramatic dip in her fortunes, says her main goal this week is to play pain-free.

A long-term wrist injury has eroded the Hawaiian teenager's confidence in her game, and she has missed three cuts in five events in 2007.

On Sunday she finished ahead of only two players at the Evian Masters in France.

But Wie, 17, said: "The wrist is getting a lot better and this is just a tough stretch that I have to get through.

"I've had it pretty easy up until now and this is the first bump, but I'm confident I'll get through it.

"My life was going exactly how I planned it - it was on a very fast track and then I hit my first bump.

If I can go through without having any pain, no stinging, no letting go of the club, I'll be very happy

Michelle Wie

"I'm feeling a lot stronger and on the road to recovery and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable.

"My aim this week is to play like Tiger (Woods) and get through the week without going into a bunker.

"If I can go through without having any pain, no stinging, no letting go of the club, I'll be very happy. But obviously shooting a low score would be really nice, too."

Wie tied for third on her Women's British Open debut at Royal Birkdale in 2005 and was joint 26th at Royal Lytham in 2006.

The three women's majors this season have been won by 18-year-old American Morgan Pressel, Norway's Suzann Petersen and American Christie Kerr.

Extensive coverage of the Women's British Open can be seen on BBC TWO and the BBC Sport website from Thursday, 2 August. Click on the 'Golf on the BBC' link for times.



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