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Page last updated at 00:08 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Scots golfer Matthew lands honour

Catriona Matthew
Matthew won her first major 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter

Scots golfer Catriona Matthew described being appointed MBE in the New Year Honours List as "the icing on the cake" following a memorable 2009.

Matthew, 40, won the Ricoh British Open at Royal Lytham 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter.

"This is a wonderful surprise and a fantastic end to what has been a very special year," said Matthew.

"Having had Sophie in May, I never envisaged winning a major golf championship this year."

The four-time Solheim Cup player was also named Ladies European Tour Players' Player of the Year in December.

Her three-stroke triumph at Royal Lytham and St Annes in August made her the first Scottish woman to clinch victory in a major.

Over 15 years as a professional, Matthew, from North Berwick, has won six international titles and played for Europe at the Solheim Cup on five occasions.

The reaction and the recognition I have had has been amazing and I'm very grateful to everyone for their support

Catriona Matthew

This season, she finished second on the Ladies European Tour's Henderson Money List and was 26th on the American money list after only 10 starts on the LPGA Tour.

"The reaction and the recognition I have had has been amazing and I'm very grateful to everyone for their support," said Matthew.

"The MBE really is the icing on the cake."

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Thursday, she said: "It's a great honour. To go down to Buckingham Palace to receive it will be a great day out for the whole family.

"I hope it will raise the profile of ladies' golf, anything to encourage more girls to play in this country."

In a statement, the Ladies European Tour praised Matthew's efforts on the circuit, and congratulated her appointment.

The statement read: "Catriona has always been a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf but she shot to prominence in 2009 as one of the UK's finest sporting talents with her sensational victory at the Ricoh British Open.

"In recognition of her achievements, the Ladies European Tour membership recently voted her as the Players' Player of the Year and clearly she thoroughly deserves this honour.

"Her conduct on and off the course is exemplary and in sport there can be no greater role model."

Meanwhile, Terry McLernon, who runs a successful table tennis club in Glasgow's Drumchapel housing scheme, has also been appointed MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

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see also
Matthew takes top players' award
12 Dec 09 |  Golf
Matthew wins maiden British Open
02 Aug 09 |  Golf
Second for Matthew in New Jersey
18 May 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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