Saturday, June 11, 2016

 GB and I take rain break in their stride and

win four-balls 3-0 for 8-4 overall lead
Great Britain and Ireland are on the verge of a famous Curtis Cup victory at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club near Dublin.
They won the Day 2 morning foursomes 2-1, then produced an astonishing sub-par blitz to take the afternoon foursomes 3-0.
So GB and I lead 8-4 overall with only Sunday's eight concluding singles to come.

Heavy, prolonged rain flooded several greens in the early afternoon and forced a 1hr 40min suspension of play from 2.30 to 4.15pm.
But it did not have an adverse effect on Great Britain and Ireland's bid to build a more substantial lead over the afternoon 2 four-balls, having won the Curtis Cup's Day 2 morning foursomes 2-1 for a 5-4 overall lead. 
Quite the reverse, in fact. Olivia Mehaffey and Bronte Law resumed the lead-off match on the sixth green and Law promptly birdied this par-4 hole to increase their lead to two holes against Monica Vaughn and Bethany Wu. 
And Meghan MacLarn and Maria Dunne restarted, also with a birdie, winning the par-5 fifth with a 4 by MacLaren for GB and I to take a useful early two-hole lead in that contest.
In the third of the better-ball contests, the first hole after the play suspension, the short fourth, was halved in par 3s, leaving it a square match between Leona Maguire and Charlotte Thomas against the United States' Hannah O'Sullivan, the world's No 1 female amateur golfer, and Mika Liu. 
A birdie 4 by Maguire at the fifth put GB and I one up - and at this stage the home team led in all three four-ball ties. Time 5pm.
Wu's 2 at the short eighth cut Mehaffey and Law's lead to one hole in the top match.
But the GB and I pair restored their two-hole advantage, thanks to a birdie 3 by Mehaffey at the ninth. The GB and I pair reached the turn in a better-ball three under par.
At  this stage, GB and I were two up in all three four-ball ties.
Leona Maguire chalked up the first eagle of the day - a 3 at the par-5 seventh to increase the home lead to three holes against World No 1 O'Sullivan and Liu.
Leona, the former World No 1, was four under par for the three-hole span - birdies at the fifth and sixth, capped by the eagle at the seventh - and she kept the spectacular run going with a birdie 2 at the short eighth for GB and I to go four up in the third match.
Bethany Wu produced her second birdie within three holes to win the 10th and cut Mehaffey and Law's lead to one. 
The short 11th was halved in birdie 2s in this match - Law and Vaughn getting the sub-par figures.  Then Mehaffey birdied the long 12th to put GB and I two ahead for the fourth time in the top match.
Vaughn and  Wu bogeyed the 14th to give Mehaffey and Law a three-hole lead with four to play in the lead-off four-ball.
That vital last green putt she holed to ring the curtain down on the morning play seemed to have been the making of Meghan MacLaren. She and Maria Dunne had a better ball of four-under-par to the turn - all four birdies coming from MacLaren - their tie against Bailey Tardy and Mariel Galdiano. 
Maguire and Thomas, winning their fifth consecutive hole, surged five up on O'Sullivan and Liu with a birdie 3 by Thomas at the ninth. The GB and I pair had reached the turn in an astonishing better ball of seven under par. 
The USA had a revival going in Match 2 in which Mariel Galdiano had back to back birdies at the 10th and 11th to cut their deficit to one hole against MacLaren and Dunne, having been three down after eight. 
Galdiano's partner, Bailey Tardy, was excluded from the 12th hole after receiving her second bad time in the round - almost certainly the first occasion a slow-play penalty has been enforced in a Curtis Cup match. 
Maria Dunne won this par-5 hole to put GB and I back into a two-hole lead in this match. 
Both captains had been warned by Chief Referee Gillian Kirkwood before the start of the second day matches about slow play being penalised after some ties in the Day 1 four-balls took more than five hours to complete. M
Dunne struck another telling blow for GB and I in March 2 with a birdie 3 to win the 13th for herself and partner MacLaren ... three up with five to play. 
Olivia Mehaffey and Bronte Law put the first four-ball point on the
 the board for GB and I with a 3 and 2 victory over Monica Vaughn and Bethany Wu in the first afternoon match.
The GB and I pair were five under par at the finish. It was Law's fourth win in four sessions of play this weekend, Mehaffey's third.
GB and I now 6-4 ahead with two ties to finish. 
Meghan MacLaren, whose mother is a senior Irish international, and Maria Dunne beat America's Bailey Tardy and Mariel Galdiano by 3 and 2 with tremendous better-ball figures of eight under par.
And Leona Maguire and Charlotte Thomas completed a joy day for GBand I and their Aberdonian captain, Elaine Farquharson-Black, by registering a 5 and 4 victory over Hannah O'Sullivan, the World's No 1 female amateur, and partner Mika Liu.
And they did it with professional class figures - a better-ball of eight under par.
Morning foursomes - GB and I 2, United States 1
GB and I names first
Leona Maguire and Charlotte Thomas v Bethany Wu and Hannah O'Sullivan - USA won by one hole.
Meghan MacLaren and Maria Dunne v Sierra Brooks and Andrea Lee - GB and I won by one hole.
Olivia Mehaffey and Bronte Law v Bailey Tardy and Monica Vaughn - GB and I won by 3 and 2


GB and I players named first:

Olivia Mehaffey, Bronte Law v. Monica Vaughn, Bethany Wu - GB and I won by 3 and 2.

Meghan MacLaren, Maria Dunne v. Bailey Tardy, Mariel Galdiano - GB and I three up after 14 holes.

Leona Maguire, Charlotte Thomas v Hannah O'Sullivan, Mika Liu -  GB and I five up after 12 holes