Sunday, June 12, 2016

GB and I win  Curtis Cup ... but it wasn't easy!

Great Britain and Ireland have won the 39th Curtis Cup match by 11.5pt to 8.5 after a tension-packed final day at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club near Dublin.
Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black's team established an 8-4 lead over the first two days of foursomes and four-balls.
With eight points up for grabs in the concluding singles, the Americans, winners of the trophy in the USA two years ago, had their backs to the wall.
But, give them their due, they went down fighting and not before they had given the home supporters a nail-biting wait for the 2.5pt GB and I needed to be assured of scoring their eighth win in this biennial tournament.
After nine holes in the eight singles, the United States led in five matches and GB and I in only three.
Bailey Tardy and Monica Vaughn won the first two singles to finish. They beat Charlotte Thomas (4 and 3) and Rochelle Mortris (4 and 3) respectively.
It took a 3 and 2 win by Ireland's Leona Maguire - her fourth in five sessions of play - to turn the tide and give GB and I some breathing space, a 3pt overall lead at 9-6.
Olivia Mehaffey then halved the lead-off singles tie with the World's top ranked female amateur golfer, Hannah O'Sullivan.
In fact, Olivia was one up on the 18th tee but  lost the last hole.
Both players were one under par at the finish of an absorbing tie.
But the Americans were not prepared to concede defeat yet.
Andrea Lee was one under par in leading throughout for a 2 and 1 win over Alice Hewson ... USA 7.5, GB and I 9.5.
With three matches to finish, GB and I still needed 1pt to clinch a famous victory, made possible by their 3-0 capture of the Day 2 four-balls. 
Meghan MacLaren got the cup-winning point in beating Bethany Wu by 2 and 1. Meghan was never behind as she made the overall score GB and I 10.5, USA 7.5.
Then Bronte Law beat Mika Liu by two holes with three under par figures. That was the icing on the cake for the home team who lost the final singles when Maria Dunne went down by 2 and 1 to Mariel Gardiano to produce a final scoreline of
GB and I 11.5, United States 8.5.
It was GB and I's eighth victory in the biennial transatlantic women's international match which started in 1932.
United States still have an overwhelming lead in the overall won-lost records but, for the moment, GB and I have a team that mastered a young American side whose world rankings suggested they would be too strong, even though GB and I had three of the world's top eight - Leona Maguire, Bronte Law and Olivia Mehaffey in their team.
Aberdeen solicitor Elaine Farquharson-Black was scoring her first victory as captain of a GB and I team, following defeats in the Astor Trophy in Australia in 2015 and the Vagliano Trophy, also last year, at Malone Golf Club, Belfast.
"The United States made a brave fight in the singles, as I expected them to, but I never thought at any stage that we would not make it over the winning line," said Elaine.

Bronte Law, a member of Bramhall Golf Club, Stockport and a student at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), had the hour of being the 39th Curtis Cup match's MVP.
Bronte, pictured above with skipper Elaine, won five out of five ties, the first GB and I player to do so since the Curtis Cup became a three-day contest in 2008.
Only one other player has achieved five wins in one match - American Stacy Lewis in the 2008 match over the Old Course, St Andrews.
The 39th Curtis Cup match set a record attendance for a GB and I venue.
Susan Simpson, the Ladies Golf Union Head of Operations, said she estimated the three-day attendance around the 14,000 mark - 2,000 more than previous record set at Nairn in 2012 when GB and I came from behind on the last day to claim the cup.
The next Curtis Cup match will be held in 2018 at Quaker Ridge Golf and Country Club, New York State.
The next home Curtis Cup match will be played at Conwy Golf Club, North Wales in June 2020
 Irish trio Leona Maguire, Maria Dunne and Olivia Mehaffey with the Curtis Cup.

GB and I names first
Foursomes (2-1)
B Law and O Mehaffey bt H O'Sullivan and M Galdiano.
C Thomas and L Maguire bt A Lee and M Liu 4 and 2.
M MacLaren and M Dunne lost to B Tardy and M Vaughn 1 hole.
Four-balls (1-2)
Maguire and Law bt B Wu and S Brooks 4 and 3.
Mehaffey and Thomas lost to O'Sullivan and Galdiano 1 hole.
MacLaren and A Hewson lost to Tardy and Vaughn 2 and 1.
Foursomes (2-1)
Maguire and Thomas lost to Wu and O'Sullivan 1 hole
MacLaren and Dunne bt Brooks and Lee 1 hole.
Mehaffey and Law bt Tardy and Vaughn 3 and 2.
Four-balls (3-0)
Mehaffey and Law bt Vaughn and Wu 3 and 2.
MacLaren and 
Dunne bt Tardy and Galdiano 3 and 2.
Maguire and Thomas bt O'Sullivan and Liu 5 and 4.
Singles (3.5-4.5)
 Mehaffey halved with O'Sullivan
 Thomas lost to Tardy 4 and 3.
 Maguire bt Brooks 3 and 2.
 R Morris lost to Vaughn 4 and 3.
 Hewson lost to Lee 2 and 1.
 Law bt Liu 2 holes.
 MacLaren bt Wu 2 and 1.
 Dunne lost to Galdiano 2 and 1.

GB and I
B Law 5 wins out of 5
L Maguire 4 wins out of 5
O Mehaffey 3.5 pt out of 5 
M MacLaren 3 wins out of 5
M Dunne 2 wins out of 4
C Thomas 2 wins out of 5 
B Tardy 3 wins out of 5
M Vaughn 3 wins out of 5
H O'Sullivan 2.5pt out of 5
M Galdiano 2 wins out of 4
A Lee 1 win out of 3
B Wu 1 win out of 4