Stunning performance from young English star steals the headlines as GB&I hold off US fightback at south Dublin’s Dun Laoghaire GC to claim second win in last ten Curtis Cup matches
By Chris Johnston
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND withstood a spirited American fightback to win the Curtis Cup for the second time in three stagings, and only the eighth time in the history of the match.
The home side - without a Scottish player in the eight-strong team - started the singles at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, south of Dublin, with an 8-4 lead buthad to fight all the way to secure an 11½-8½ victory after the US edged the singles by 4½-3½.
Undoubtedly, the star of the show was England’s Bronte Law who became the first GB&I player in history to win all five of matches at a Curtis Cup. That feat had previously only been achieved once before by American Stacy Lewis at St Andrews back in 2008, when the match was played over three days for the first time.
“It’s great to be the first GB&I to win five matches but that wasn’t the priority for me,” Law said. “The priority was to play as well as I could for the team. I think the reason why we have the trophy right now is that we’ve had some amazing team chemistry this week. Everyone has got on so well. Our golf has been amazing, but the fact we got on so well made it so easy.
“This is the best team I’ve been on and that means more than what I’ve done on a personal basis. There’s friendships here that are going to last a lifetime and that’s the most important thing.”
GB&I captain Elaine Farquharson said she was aware of the US fightback but felt her girls always had the contest under control.
“The Americans played great today but, to be honest, I always thought we were in control,” she said. “We were always above the line. It was tense for a while but I never had any real doubt we would win.
“It has been an incredible week. I am sure I will remember every minute of it. But they’ve been such an easy team to captain.
“I think the hardest decision I had was what we’d wear and then they took that decision for me. It has been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
US captain Robin Burke said she was proud of her team for battling to the end, and admitted she thought her players were going to step over the line as the match came to a close.
“We fought right to the end,” she said. “We had a chance to win right until the last two matches. I really thought we were going to flip it. They didn’t lose their fight and I’m proud of all of them.”
Scottish Golf national women’s coach Rick Valentine, meanwhile, told bunkered.co.uk that he thought Scotland, minus any GB&I Curtis Cup players this year, had nothing to worry about when it comes to producing future ladies stars.
“I think we’re making really good improvements,” said Valentine. “These things go in cycles. We’re seeing a lot of players move up the world rankings. Yes, we missed out on the Curtis Cup this year but looking towards the World and European Championships this summer, I’m very much expecting us to improve on what we’ve done the last few years and I think it’s only a matter of time before we get players making those teams.”