A specially commissioned sculpture has been unveiled at Gleneagles by winning European Team Captain Catriona Matthew to commemorate The 2019 Solheim Cup matches at the renowned Perthshire venue.
The sculpture, entitled “Match”, was created by Scottish artist Jephson Robb and has been positioned near the 1st tee of the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, close to where Suzann Pettersen holed the dramatic winning putt for Team Europe in September 2019.
Jephson - one of only a few Scottish artists to have work in the permanent collection of the prestigious Museum of Modern Art, New York - was commissioned to create a permanent sculpture as a lasting reminder of the event, which saw more than 90,000 spectators visit the 850-acre Perthshire estate, a record attendance for a women’s UK golf tournament.
Team Europe’s victory on Scottish soil will always remain one of the greatest achievements of my career. I’m sure this wonderful sculpture will also remind the many thousands who visit Gleneagles each year, of a truly exceptional Solheim Cup I will certainly never forget.
The 2019 Solheim Cup will live long in the memory for everyone who witnessed the dramatic final scenes on the 18th green so it is fitting to have such a stunning tribute so close to the spot where that incredible history was made.
At 1.75 cm tall, referencing the average height of the competitors, the stainless-steel mirror polished sculpture sits atop a Scottish Whinstone circular plinth which is inscribed with the names of players, Captains and Assistants and the 14 ½ - 13 ½ final score.
Jephson took inspiration for the sculpture from the dramatic final moments of the Cup when Norwegian Pettersen holed the winning putt on the final green for Team Europe – one of the major sporting highlights of that year.
Several times I watched that final moment of the finesse of a delicate putt that decided who won and it struck me just how much golf is a sport of two games: powerful driving and skillful putting. My starting point for the shape was the circular shape of the golf swing. The overall spherical nature of the sculpture makes references to the global nature of the competition as well as to a golf ball. The circular plinth is a direct reference to the hole and, specifically, the final putt at the final hole that decided the winner.
The sculpture also contains a number of hidden elements, namely a Saltire, the profile of a Cup, and two matching hearts going against each other, a nod to the event’s love and rivalry. In naming it ‘Match’, Jephson also took inspiration from beyond The Solheim Cup itself.
Of course, its name acknowledges the staging of this truly incredible match play event at Gleneagles, but for me, ‘Match’ has a number of other important meanings. It represents the strong bond Karsten Solheim, who’s family founded the event, had with his wife, Louise; their commercial ‘Match’ with professional golfers when developing their first PING putters in the 1960s; and, on a very personal level, Gleneagles is where I married my ‘Match’.”
Gleneagles, consistently voted the #1 Golf Resort in the UK & Ireland, remains the only venue in Europe to have staged both a Solheim Cup and a Ryder Cup (2014). It will further add to its rich history of welcoming tournaments when it hosts the Senior Open Presented by Rolex next year (July 21-24).
Jephson’s sculpture is a fitting and lasting celebration to one of the greatest modern moments in women’s team sport. We hope many thousands of people enjoy viewing it and take time to reflect on a truly remarkable event that showcased everything that is great about the sport of golf and how it continues to captivate us all.