I WAS forced out by injury from representing Team Europe in my ninth Solheim Cup in August, as Team USA won for a 10th time in the past 15 battles. But in the past I’ve held my own with a record of 16-11-6. There’s something about matchplay that gets me fired up, and I’ve developed a proven strategy to compete. Got your own big match coming up? Remember these tips, and you’ll be ready to close out your opponent.

– with Keely Levins

Know Your Strengths

Think about the best parts of your game and how they might give you an edge. Example: if you’re playing someone where your length is an advantage, use it. Right from the start, pull out driver and send it down the middle.

Wear Out Your Opponent

My main strategy is to be consistent: hit fairways, hit greens. For others, it could mean avoiding double-bogeys. Stay steady, and your opponent can get frustrated and start making mistakes.

Be Ready To Adjust

Sometimes you’re up against someone who’s playing well, and your strategy of steady and safe isn’t working. When this happens, find ways to be more aggressive. Sometimes changing strategy can swing momentum your way.

Expect Your Opponent To Make Everything

If you’re up by a few holes and feeling comfortable, snap out of it. Assume your opponent is going to rally at some point, so keep playing your hardest. All it takes is for you to lose one hole, and the match can turn.

When In Doubt, Go With The Safe Shot

It’s easy to get excited and try to hit big shots during matchplay. But you’re not going to win a match trying to play above your skill level. Hero golf is overrated. It’s better to make no mistakes than to risk too much.

Don’t Ever Get Ahead Of Yourself

Being up in a match is a great feeling, but don’t start calculating where it will end if you keep playing well. Instead, focus on the shot you’re standing over, and keep the pressure on. Make all your opponents feel they have to play their very best to beat you.

Prepare For Anything

Annika Sorenstam says as long as there are holes left, there are opportunities – for you and your opponent. That means don’t let your opponent’s lucky break or great shot rattle you. Just keep grinding like the match is on the line, because it is.