Saturday, July 28, 2007


Teenager Krystle Caithness, playing for Great Britain & Ireland only a few miles up the Fife coast from her home in Cellardyke, sparkled with two wins out of two on a day when the Continent of Europe won back the Vagliano Trophy which has adorned the Ladies Golf Union trophy room in St Andrews for the past four years.
The Continentals chalked up a 15-9 victory which represented the biggest ever defeat suffered by GB&I since the 24pt format was introduced to the biennial match in 1975.
Krystle, pictured right, had the honour of scoring the biggest win by any player or players over the four sessions of play at the Torrance course, Fairmont St Andrews. She beat Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg by 6 and 4.
Krystle, 18, and a member at the St Regulus women's club in St Andrews, was left out of the Friday singles after figuring in the GB&I line-up which was thrashed 4-0 in the opening foursomes.
Restored by skipper Mary McKenna to the foursomes line-up on the second morning,
Krystle and Breanne Loucks from Wrexham dovetailed well to help GB&I win the last two alternate shot ties and share the honours 2-2, although trailing 11-5 overall.
Then Krystle recaptured the form that had temporarily deserted her since she was a member of the winning British squad of five in the Commonwealth tournament in South Africa in May.
She won five holes in a row from the third to the seventh in going six up on Sweden's Pernilla Lindbeg. The Caithness purple patch included an eagle 3 at the 468yd fifth where she holed a 52 degree wedge shot from 76 yards.
Six up at the turn, Krystle eventually won by 6 and 4 after losing the 10th and 11th but winning the 11th and 14th.
Breanne Loucks also chalked up an afternoon win for a reviving GB&I team. The Welsh Curtis Cup player beat Germany's Denise Becker from Germany by 5 and 3. Denise broke the Old Course women's record the last time she was in Scotland - at the St Rule Trophy 54-hole tournament in June.
But Carlota Ciganda, the Spanish winner of the recent British women's open title, had won the top singles by 5 and 4 over Naomi Edwards to put 12pt on the board for the visitors.
Then Germany's Sandra Gal gained the clinching 13th point overall for the Continentals to secure the trophy. She beat Kerry Smith by one hole.
Liz Bennett beat Emma Cabrera by 3 and 1 but GB&I lost the last two singles which went to the 18th green.
Caroline Westrup beat Ireland's Tara Delaney by one hole and another Swede, Anna Nordqvist beat Rachel Bell with a birdie at the 18th. Anna finished up the top player from both sides with four wins out of four.
No surprise that the Continent of Europe won. They had a team laden with leading players from the European and American college rankings.
It all started to go horribly wrong for home skipper Mary McKenna's team in the opening foursomes on Friday. The Continent won them 4-0 and the GB&I players played second fiddle thereafter.
The Continentals took the first-day singles 5-3 to lead 9-3 at the halfway stage.
That became an 11-3 advantage when the first two Saturday foursomes went Europe's way.
Then the home team rallied with wins by Krystle Caithness in partnership with Breanne Loucks, and the all-English partnership of Rachel Bell and Liz Bennett.
A lunchtime lead of 11-5 left the Continent needing only 1 1/2pt from the eight afternoon singles to clinch victory