Gemma Dryburgh, a Scotswoman, claims that “she knows she is just as good” as the top names on the US squad, thus she has nothing to worry about when she makes her Solheim Cup debut.
This week in Spain’s Finca Cortesin, Dryburgh will make her debut as a representative of Europe in the competition that takes place every two years.
Competing with big names like Lilia Vu and Nelly Korda doesn’t phase her at all.
“Maybe two years ago it would have been a bit more intimidating but not now that I have played with and against the girls week to week,” the 30-year-old added.
“It’s not worrisome since I know a handful of the American gals. There is no need for anyone to worry or be afraid of me because I am aware of what to expect and am confident in my own abilities.
Most Powerful Europe ‘No Weak Links’ on Solheim Cup Team
Despite the participation of world No. 2 Vu and No. 3 Korda, Europe, captained by Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, is a slight underdog to win the match and achieve a record third consecutive victory.
Just two years ago, Dryburgh was trying to earn a spot on the LPGA Tour through qualifying school. Now, she is one of the best female golfers in the world.
Since that trying week in December 2021, the Aberdonian has gone on to great success, winning the 2022 Japan Classic and eventually earning over $1 million (£808,000) on the LPGA Tour.
Given the current breadth and strength of the women’s game, her current ranking of #54 is quite an accomplishment for this year.
Dryburgh, one of Pettersen’s wildcard picks, told BBC Scotland Sport, “My goal every year is to keep improving – and I think I am.”
To move forward, I knew I needed to make some adjustments to my strategy after failing to make it into Q School in 2019.
As one player put it, “since Covid, it has been a gradual improvement, although the depth of the game is incredible now, so we all have to keep improving and working hard.”
Dryburgh enjoyed the team atmosphere of the Solheim Cup and the “goodies and clothes” in her room upon arriving at Finca Cortesin.
In addition to offering some traditional Scottish ceilidh music for the team’s Spotify playlist, she plans to “bring some good banter, camaraderie and vibes” to the team room.
This year’s two massive transatlantic gatherings will have Scottish participants, and Robert MacIntyre is set to make his Ryder Cup debut next week at Marco Simone in Rome.
Dryburgh thinks things are looking well for the Scottish amateur scene, and he’s seen several promising up-and-comers in the making.
Maguire, your must-read Solheim Cup scene setter, is preparing for a “physical and mental test” against the United States.
Dryburgh remarked that she was proud to see the Saltire flying over both the Solheim and Ryder Cup teams, and that she had recently acquired a wedge with the Gaelic phrase “be clutch” etched on it.
The women’s team head coach, Kathryn Imrie, agrees, saying, “And there are some really good girls coming through. I had the pleasure of playing with some of them at last year’s Scottish Open Pro-Am. I’d like to think that I can make a difference and motivate some of them.
“It was great to have role models when I was growing up; Catriona [Matthew] was obviously a major one. I hope that I can do the same for the next generation by encouraging them to keep going and work hard.”