Excited for Open but missing kids

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Catriona Matthew hopes the home-course advantage will help her end Inbee Park's streak of major victories this week.

Catriona Matthew is one of two Scottish players in the Women's British Open field at St. Andrews. She's also one of the oldest overall, turning 44 on Aug. 25. The native of Edinburgh has two daughters with her husband, Graeme, the younger of whom was born just 11 weeks before Matthew won the 2009 Women's British Open. Matthew has come the closest of anyone to beating Inbee Park in a major this year, losing to her in a playoff at the LPGA Championship.

My daughters are only 6 and 4; when they were babies, they traveled with us a lot more. This year, I don't think they're actually going to come to any events.

We live about two hours from St. Andrews. They were going to come here, but they decided they'd probably stay home. They know what I do, but I don't think they know what it entails yet. My oldest, Katie, thought she was going to be able to walk down the fairways with me. When she found out she couldn't, she didn't think it would be too exciting to come.

So I usually just travel on my own now, and my husband stays at home a little more. It's always a balancing act. It's difficult being away; I try not to be gone for more than three weeks, then go home for two. I'm stacking up the air miles.

My husband caddied for me for about 18 years; he's doing about a third of my tournaments this year. And I've got another person who does the rest. My husband wanted to be home more with the girls, so it's worked out well. And the grandparents -- we've been very fortunate that the girls get to spend a lot of time with them.

How do you keep playing into your 40s? I work out more than I used to; I go to the gym a lot. Also, I concentrate on more "quality" practice. I don't practice as much as I used to, but I'll go do two or three hours and make it worthwhile, rather than just go out for a whole day, where you practice but also wander around chatting with people. You just need to manage your time a little better.

I think any victory now is very difficult to get, and you realize time is not on your side. So any win would be very meaningful.

I played amateur events at St. Andrews when I was younger. I don't know the exact number of rounds I've played here, probably 30 to 40. It's special coming here. I think anyone who plays golf finds St. Andrews very special.

If I were a tourist guide, what are the five places I'd recommend an American visit in Scotland? You'd have to go to St. Andrews. Edinburgh Castle/the Royal Mile. Loch Ness. Oban. And then maybe to the Dornoch area. Although I don't think I'm a great sightseer in Scotland, actually.