Tuesday, February 23, 2016

United States' Curtis Cup team includes four 

of top seven in World Rankings

FAR HILLS, New Jersey – Hannah O’Sullivan, of Chandler, Arizona, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, is among the eight players named today by the United States Golf Association (USGA) to the USA team for the 2016 Curtis Cup Match, to be conducted June 10-12 at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, pictured below, in Enniskerry, Ireland, outside Dublin.
The players with their ages and home cities are:
  • Sierra Brooks, 17, of Sorrento, Florida.
  • Mariel Galdiano, 17, of Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Andrea Lee, 17, of Hermosa Beach, California.
  • Mika Liu, 17, of Beverly Hills, California.
  • Hannah O’Sullivan, 17, of Chandler, Arizona.
  • Bailey Tardy, 19, of Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
  • Monica Vaughn, 21, of Reedsport, Oregon.
  • Bethany Wu, 19, of Diamond Bar, California.
“These eight young women who will represent the United States in the 39th Curtis Cup Match are among the most talented players in the world,” said Diana Murphy, USGA president. 
“The USGA is proud to have them as ambassadors for the game, and we wish them the best of luck as they prepare for the competition in June.”
The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial international women’s amateur golf competition between eight-player teams from the United States of America and Great Britain and Ireland.
 It consists of six foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, six four-ball matches and eight singles matches over three days of competition.
 The USGA’s International Team Selection (ITS) Committee selects the USA Team, while the Ladies’ Golf Union selects the GB and I Team.
“The opportunity to select the members of this team was one we undertook with great care,” said Tom Hough, of Atlanta, who is in his first year as chairman of the ITS Committee and third year on the USGA Executive Committee.
“We are confident that, while these players will be fierce competitors, they will also embody the tradition of friendship set forth by Margaret and Harriot Curtis in 1932.”
All eight players on the USA Team are among the top 30 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™, with O’Sullivan (No. 2), Brooks (No. 4), Galdiano (No. 6) and Tardy (No. 7) in the top 10.

Nelly Korda, who was ranked No 11 in the world, turned pro last week. She was considered a certainty for Curtis Cup selection had she remained an amateur.

O’Sullivan won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur by a 3-and-2 margin over Brooks at Portland Golf Club, Oregon. Earlier in the year, she won the Symetra Tour’s Gateway Classic, becoming the lady pro tour’s first amateur winner since Kellee Booth in 1999 and the youngest since Cristie Kerr in 1995. 
O'Sullivan also earned victories in the 2015 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
O’Sullivan partnered with Robynn Ree to finish runner-up to Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes, and she finished tied for 53rd in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club, Pennsylvania. 
O’Sullivan, who qualified for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open at age 14, will enroll at the University of Southern California in the autumn.
Brooks earned victories last year in the South Atlantic Women’s Amateur (the Sally) and Women’s Southern Amateur, and was a semi-finalist in the Polo Golf Junior Classic, an event she won in 2014. Brooks will start her freshman year at Wake Forest University this autumn
Galdiano captured victories in the 2015 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship and the 2015 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship. She also earned runner-up finishes in the 2015 Junior PGA Championship and 2015 Polo Golf Junior Classic. 
Galdiano competed in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 U.S. Women’s Opens, with her best finish a tie for 42nd in 2015. She will enroll at UCLA in the autumn
Lee won the 2014 Rolex Tournament of Champions and the 2014 Yani Tseng Invitational. That same year, she reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, the quarter-finals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior and tied for 69th in the U.S. Women’s Open. 
Lee earned a silver medal for the USA in the 2015 Pan American Games, and the next week she again reached the U.S. Girls’ Junior quarter-finals. She will start her freshman year at Stanford University in August.
Liu teamed with Mitsunaga to win the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015. She teed  off the 2016 season with a win in the Sally Tournament. Her other victories over the last two years include the 2014 Women’s Southern Amateur, the 2014 Women’s Western Amateur and the 2015 Thunderbird Invitational Juniorshe Liu notched runner-up finishes in the 2015 Ione D. Jones/Doherty Amateur, the 2015 Women’s Eastern Amateur and the 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions. Liu, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior, has verbally committed to attend Stanford University in the autumn of 2017.
Tardy won the 2015 North and South Women’s Amateur Championship over Wu, rallying from two  down with two to play to prevail at the 20th. She reached the third round of match-play in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur, and in 2014 she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open. 
Tardy is a freshman at the University of Georgia, where she earned her first collegiate win, in the 2015 Windy City Collegiate, in only her fourth start.
Vaughn is a junior at Arizona State University, where she has victories in the 2016 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and the 2015 Ping/ASU Invitational. As a sophomore, she finished fifth in the individual competition of the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.
Wu was runner-up in the 2015 North and South Women’s Amateur and the 2015 Canadian Women’s Amateur, and reached the semifinals of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur
She was a quarter-finalist in the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior and earned medalist honours in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the same year she successfully defended her Annika Invitational victory. Wu is a freshman at UCLA.
The alternates for the USA Team are, in order of ranking: Lauren Kim, 21, of Los Altos, California.; and Caroline Inglis, 22, of Eugene, Oregon.
Robin Burke, the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up and a member of the victorious 1998 USA Curtis Cup Team, will serve as USA captain.
"It's exciting to have the team announced,” said Burke. “I'm looking forward to bringing the players together for practice and creating positive energy for the Match in June. This is a remarkable group of players – all very talented, all proud to represent the United States. I'm not sure Ireland is ready for us, but we will be ready for Ireland!”
Elaine Farquharson-Black will serve as GB and I captain. Farquharson-Black, a native of Scotland, represented GB and I in the 1990 and 1992 Curtis Cup Matches.
The USA won the 2014 Match at St. Louis Country Club, Missouri 13-7, and leads the overall series, 28-7-3. The GB and I Team won the 2012 Match at The Nairn Golf Club in Scotland, the last time the Match was played on GB and I soil, to halt a streak of seven consecutive victories for the USA. Prior to that, the USA had not lost since the 1996 Match at Killarney Golf and Field Club, the only other time the biennial competition has been held in the Republic of Ireland.
Notable past USA Curtis Cup Team members include U.S. Women’s Open champions JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Paula Creamer, Juli Inkster, Kerr, Patty Sheehan, Hollis Stacy and Michelle Wie, as well as past and present LPGA stars such as Beth Daniel, Jessica Korda, Stacy Lewis, Nancy Lopez, Dottie Pepper and Lexi Thompson.
+The GB and I team will be finalised after the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship at Troon in April. The four leading eligible players in the World Women's Amateur Rankings will gain automatic selection as will the top two in the LGU Order of Merit who have not gained selection through the World Rankings.