Gemma Dryburgh will complete a career objective when she makes her debut for Europe in this week’s Solheim Cup.
The 30-year-old, who grew up in Westhill on the outskirts of Aberdeen, is one of three rookies on Suzann Pettersen’s team.
Europe head into the showdown with the United States looking to win the match for the third time in a row.
Dryburgh, who was one of Europe’s four captain’s picks, is relishing the match getting under way at Finca Cortesin in Spain on Friday.
Gemma Dryburgh ‘excited’ for Solheim Cup
She told The Press and Journal: “I’m excited for it all to kick off.
“It was a great feeling to know I was in the team.
“It gives me goosebumps thinking about it as it is something I have always dreamed of.
“Making the team has always been a goal.
“I went to the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles as a spectator and seeing the girls win inspired me to hopefully get on the team myself one day.
“I was there all three days. I was on the left of the 18th fairway when Suzann was coming down the last with the chance to win.
“We stormed the fairway and green afterwards!
“It is a lifelong dream coming to fruition so it feels very special.”
Benefits of Curtis Cup experience
The chance to play matchplay golf – a rare occurrence for professionals – is also exciting for Dryburgh.
She said: “I have always loved matchplay golf.
“I obviously played a lot more in my amateur days.
“I managed to get to the quarter-final of the LPGA Match-Play last year, which was great fun as I hadn’t played match-play since the 2014 Curtis Cup.
“I can call upon that Curtis Cup experience but this will be a much bigger occasion.
“At the time that was the pinnacle of my amateur days.
“I won my singles match there so I have some good matchplay memories.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) September 18, 2023
Dryburgh is ranked a very impressive seventh in driving accuracy on the LPGA Tour this season and is optimistic her ability to consistently find fairways can be a major asset in the foursomes and fourballs format.
She said: “I don’t have any idea yet who I will be playing with.
“For the fourballs it would be good to play with someone who is a bit longer than me with a slightly different game.
“I could keep it down the middle and maybe have someone that can go for the par fives.
“That would be a good mix.
“I think I am quite a good foursomes player.
“I’m pretty consistent down the middle.
“Hopefully I can play with someone else who is good at doing the same thing.
“I am a big football fan and I grew up playing team sports.
“You don’t really get to play in team events too often in golf, especially in professional golf.
“I am really looking forward to having that camaraderie with everyone and that aspect of playing for more than just yourself.”
Three in a row is the aim
Europe are marginal favourites with the bookmakers for the Solheim Cup but with both teams looking reasonably well matched it could be another exciting finish on Sunday afternoon in Spain.
Dryburgh said: “We are going for a third win in a row which Europe has never been done before.
“I think this is one of the strongest European teams we’ve ever had.
“We stack up quite well and the Americans are also playing well.
“It is hard to predict but we will have home advantage which will be nice.”
Dryburgh is the sole Scot in the European team and hopes she can do the Home of Golf proud a week before Robert MacIntyre tries to do the same in the Ryder Cup in Rome.
She added: “It was great to see Bob get onto the Ryder Cup team.
“Hopefully we can both fly the saltire high for both teams.
“It is exciting it is back-to-back weeks, which is also quite unusual, and both matches in Europe as well.
“That will change next year as we are going again in 2024.
“I think it is probably better for us to be in our own year but we will take it as it comes this year.
“Maybe it might help, we’ll see.”