Under the captaincy of Tegwen Matthews, GB&I’s amateur women completed a memorable comeback to win the Curtis Cup at Nairn by 10.5-9.5. It was the first GB&I victory for 16 years.
The USA carried a one-point lead into the final day singles, but that advantage could have been far greater had the GB&I side not fought back valiantly on Saturday afternoon. At 6-3 down with the three fourball matches to be completed, the hosts were in danger of facing an insurmountable deficit.
But the GB&I girls rallied. Holly Clyburn and Kelly Tidy outlasted Emily Tubert and Amy Anderson to win by a single hole; Leona Maguire and Bronte Law ground out a fine half with Brooke Pancake and Austin Ernst before Stephanie Meadow and Pamela Prestwell saw off the US pairing of Tiffany Lua and Erica Popson by 2 holes.
In the final day singles, the early starters got the ball rolling for GB&I. In the top match, Kelly Tidy was three down through the first six holes against Austin Ernst, but she struck back to be all-square through nine. The English girl saw out the match with a birdie three on the 17th hole.
Amy Boulden was also down in the early stages of her match with Emily Tubert. The American made birdies at the 1st and 5th to go two up. But the Welsh player hung in there and won three in a row from the ninth. The match was all-square through the 13th but Boulden moved clear with a par at the 14th. As in match one, the deal was sealed on the 17th.
Holly Clyburn played some excellent golf against Erica Popson, including an eagle at the 7th. She was pegged back by the turn but went ahead again on the 12th and maintained her lead to the end.
Matches four and five went America’s way, but strong performances by the British girls in matches six and seven secured the Cup for the home players. Charley Hull saw off Lindy Duncan with something to spare, beating her rival from across the pond by 5&3. Stephanie Meadow put her foot down on the back nine to move away from Amy Anderson, she won by a margin of 4&2.
It was of no consequence that Leona Maguire lost the last match to Brooke Pancake, GB&I had secured sufficient points to win the Curtis Cup for the first time since 1996. It’s believed to be the first time since 1956 that the US has lost the tournament when leading into the final set of singles.
Kelly Tidy (GB&I) def. Austin Ernst (US) 2&1
Amy Boulden (GB&I) def. Emily Tubert (US) 3&1
Holly Clyburn (GB&I) def. Erica Popson (US) 3&2
Lisa McCloskey (US) def. Pamela Pretswell (GB&I) 4&3
Tiffany Lua (US) def. Bronte Law (GB&I) 2 up
Charley Hull (GB&I) def. Lindy Duncan (US) 5&3
Stephanie Meadow (GB&I) def. Amy Anderson (US) 4&2
Brooke Pancake (US) def. Leona Maguire (GB&I) 6&5