Saturday, April 17, 2004


Updated golf and result


The Ladies Golf Union Elite Squad - the short leet for the Great Britain & Ireland women's amateur team for the forthcoming Curtis Cup match - scored a great morale-boosting win over the professionals of the Ladies' European Tour select in the Weetabix Challenge at Formby Golf Club on Saturday, only eight weeks ahead of the encounter with the United States - Michelle Wie and all - over the same Merseyside side.
Only 12 months after being drubbed 16 1/2-4 1/2 by the professionals in the annual Weetabix match, skipper Ada O'Sullivan's girls gained their revenge with a 14 1/2-9 1/2 victory.
Ada had predicted on the eve of the match that "It would be a different story this year" ... and she was so right.
The LGU team won the morning foursomes session 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 - equalling their whole day's points total of 2003 in one session of play - and then increased their lead over the professionals to 5pt by winning nine of the 16 singles ties and halving two others.
Double winners - morning and afternoon - for the amateurs were Emma Duggleby (Malton & Norton), Sarah Jones (Pennard), Kerry Smith (Waterlooville), Sophie Walker (Kenwick Park). Scottish champion Anne Laing from Vale of Leven was the biggest LGU winner of the singles. She chalked up a 5 and 4 win over a former Curtis Cup player, Caroline Hall after going up four up at the eighth.
Clare Queen (Drumpellier) lost twice on the day, going down by 4 and 3 in the singles to Wendy Dicks after losing the fourth, fifth and eighth on the outward half.
Lynn Kenny (Stirling University) won her morning foursomes in parthership with Kerry Smith but then lost by 3 and 2 to Joanne Morley after running up two double bogeys before the turn and letting the match get away from her by losing the ninth, 10th, 12th and 13th.
The Weetabix Challenge match was started in 1994 and this is only the second win by the LGU Elite Squad. The only other time was in 1998. Since then the professionals have won rather easily each year, culminating in last year's runaway victory.
The LGU Curtis Cup team selectors meet in the Formby clubhouse on Sunday morning and they will have a tough time narrowing their choice down to the eight-player line-up to face the Americans on June 12 and 13.
LGU chief executive Andy Salmon said: " To win the Weetabix Challenge in this Curtis Cup year here at Formby and so close to the match is going to give the girls a great lift ahead of the Americans' visit in only eight weeks."
Skipper Ada O'Sullivan said: "The selectors have a ferocious task ahead of them. I would find it difficult myself to whittle the squad down to just eight. I can think of 10 maybe more players who have justifiable claims to be in this year's Curtis Cup team.
"I think our preparation for the match against the Americans has been superb, particularly the recent matches against top-level men's county teams, Lancashire and Cheshire. There's no question those toughened up the girls' match-play games. Match-play is so different from stroke play - that's why we have a definite chance against the Americans.
"Our girls now have belief in themselves. It has been developing and that is why I was so confident that we could beat the professionals this year. Now that self-belief should be sky night. Not cockiness, not over-confidence just a belief in their own ability."

Results (LGU Elite Squad amateurs first):


S McKevitt (Eng) & E Duggleby (Eng) beat A Munt (Aus) & S Heath (Eng) 4 and 3.
T Mangan (Ire) & F More (Eng) halved with N Moult (Eng) & L Fairclough (Eng).
C Coughlan (Ire) & C Queen (Sco) lost to C Ekelundh (Swe) & C Dibnah (Aus) 3 and 1.
S Jones (Wal) & A Highgate (Wal) beat W Dicks (Eng) & M Eberl (Ger) 3 and 2.
A Laing (Sco) & K Phillips (Wal) lost to D Reid (Sco) & C Hall (Eng) 1 hole.
L Kenny (Sco) & K Smith (Eng) beat J Forbes (Sco) & K Knowles (Eng) 2 and 1.
D Masters (Eng) & N Timmins (Eng) lost to R Bailey (Eng) & S Parry (US) 4 and 3.
S Walker (Eng) & M Gillen (Ire) beat J Mills (Aus) & J Morley (Eng) 3 and 2.
(4 1/2-3 1/2)

Mangan halved with Fairclough.
Duggleby beat Munt 4 and 2.
More beat Heath 3 and 2.
McKevitt lost to Moult 4 and 3.
Coughlan lost to Ekelundh 5 and 4.
Highgate halved with Eberl.
Queen lost to Dicks 4 and 3.
Jones beat Dibnah 2 and 1.
Laing beat Hall 5 and 4.
Phillips beat Reid 3 and 1.
Gillen lost to Forbes 6 and 4.
Timmins beat Bailey 3 and 1.
Smith beat Knowles 3 and 1.
Walker beat Parry 3 and 2.
Kenny lost to Morley 3 and 2.
Masters beat Mills 2 holes.