The Ladies Golf Union (LGU) named the eight female amateur golfers who will represent Great Britain & Ireland at the 2014 Curtis Cup Match at St. Louis Country Club June 6-8. Of the eight players, six are newcomers, with only Stephanie Meadow and Bronte Law, both college students in the United States, back from the side who regained the cup two years ago at Nairn Golf Cub in Scotland.
The other six players are Annabel Dimmock, Georgia Hall, Gabriella Cowley, Charlotte Thomas, Eilidh Briggs and Gemma Dryburgh.
For the first time in the long history of this biennial competition, which was first played at Wentworth in 1932, the GB&I team has been partially chosen through the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking TM and the LGU Order of Merit.
Dimmock, Hall, Law and Meadow are the leading four eligible players in the WAGRTM and
Briggs and Cowley are selected via the LGU Order of Merit table.
The LGU Selection Panel's two choices of Dryburgh and Thomas complete the team of eight.
GB&I will again be captained by Tegwen Matthews who said “I am thrilled and excited with this team and genuinely believe it has the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup. Each and every member of this team has fought hard for their place and I know they all have the desire, talent and passion to bring the cup back home.”
Anna Hubbard will return as Team Manager.
GB&I's victory at Nairn in 2012 halted a run of seven consecutive victories by the United States.
The Nairn contest, which GB&I won by a single point over three days, was the closest since a 9-9 draw in 1994 at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. GB&I, as holders, retained the trophy that year. GB&I’s only victory in the United States came in 1986 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., 13-5.
The USA leads the series 27-7-3.
The GB&I Team:
EILIDH BRIGGS (Scotland) Age 21
GABRIELLA COWLEY (England) Age 18
ANNABEL DIMMOCK (England) Age 17
GEMMA DRYBURGH (Scotland) Age 20
GEORGIA HALL (England) Age 18
BRONTE LAW (England) Age 19
STEPHANIE MEADOW (Northern Ireland) Age 22
CHARLOTTE THOMAS (England) Age 21
Team Captain:TEGWEN MATTHEWS (Wales)
Team Manager:ANNA HUBBARD (Wales)
Profiles of the GB&I Team:
EILIDH BRIGGS (Scotland). A narrow victory from Annabel Dimmock with a sub-par aggregate in the recent Welsh Women's Open Amateur Stroke-Play Championship catapulted Eilidh into Curtis Cup consideration. A physical-education student at Stirling University in Scotland, Eilidh beat Gemma Dryburgh in the final of the Scottish U18 Girls’ Championship in 2011. She won the SLGA Girls' Order of Merit three years in a row from 2009 to 2011. In 2012, Eilidh won the SLGA's Champion of Champions tournament. She has been Renfrewshire county champion three times: 2010, 2011 and 2013. She also played for Scotland in the Women's Home Internationals of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
GABRIELLA COWLEY (England) was runner-up in this year’s Portuguese Amateur Championship, teamed up with Annabel Dimmock to win the Nations Cup for England at the Helen Holm Scottish Stroke Play Championship, and was eighth in the Welsh Open Stroke Play. She won the England Golf girls’ order of merit for 2013, when her achievements included qualifying for the Women’s British Open, winning the Critchley Salver, representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy, and helping England successfully defend the Girls’ Home Internationals title.
ANNABEL DIMMOCK (England). Dimmock has produced a string of excellent results this year. She won the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play title just over a week ago and followed up as runner-up in last weekend’s Welsh Open Stroke Play. Earlier in the season she won the Jones Doherty Cup in Florida, where she was also runner-up in the South Atlantic Ladies’ Amateur (SALLY). She was runner-up in the Spanish Amateur, fifth in the European Nations Cup and won the Sunningdale Foursomes. She is an England international and was a member of the winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals.
GEMMA DRYBURGH (Scotland). Born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1993, Dryburgh moved with her family to England in 2002. It was only in 2009 that she decided to take up golf seriously, moving to the IMG Academy in Florida. She has made constant progress since, including the current year’s rise of more than 50 places to No. 52 in the WAGR. In 2011 she enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans. In the summer of 2012 she was narrowly beaten by Eilidh Briggs in the final of the Scottish U18 Girls’ Championship. In her second year at Tulane, Dryburgh was eight under par in one of her victories over three rounds. Highlight of her 2013 season was finishing second in the British Stroke Play Championship at Prestwick. She has continued to prosper against quality opposition on the U.S. college circuit. In January she finished second by one shot in the South American Women's Amateur Championship.
GEORGIA HALL (England) is the reigning British Ladies’ Amateur Champion and a past winner of the British Girls’ title. She shared low-amateur honors at last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, won two gold medals at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup and won the LGU Order of Merit. She was Europe’s No. 1 one female golfer for 2012 and has previously represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy.
BRONTE LAW (England) was a member of the winning GB&I team at the 2012 Curtis Cup. The England international is a student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where two of her teammates, Erynne Lee and Alison Lee, will be on the 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team. She also has won on the U.S. women’s college circuit. She represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy and Europe in both the Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup matches. Law won the Cartier Trophy at the 2013 French Lady Junior Championship and was runner-up in the Esmond Trophy the previous year.
STEPHANIE MEADOW. (Northern Ireland) Meadow was born in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland and claimed the 2006 Irish Under-18 Girls title when she was only 14. Since then she has spent most of her life in America. The University of Alabama senior owns nine college victories and she was recently named Southeastern Conference Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. One of her Alabama teammates, Emma Talley, will be representing the USA in this Curtis Cup. College teammate Brooke Pancake played against her in the 2012 Curtis Cup. Meadow has been ranked within the top 10 of the WAGR for at least three years. She won the British Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in 2012, and she gained the winning point for GB&I in the 2012 Curtis Cup Match at Nairn.
CHARLOTTE THOMAS. (England) While based in Singapore, Thomas makes an annual golfing trip back to England. Last summer she won the English Mid-Amateur Championship, one week after losing a playoff for the English Stroke Play title. She currently is a sophomore at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she became the first Husky to win a tournament in her collegiate debut (Oregon State Invitational). Earlier this season she qualified for match play at the Australian Women’s Amateur and tied third in the Lake Macquarie Ladies’ Championship, also in Australia.
About the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU)
Founded in 1893, the LGU is the encompassing body for ladies’ amateur golf in Great Britain & Ireland. The LGU Board includes representatives of ladies’ golf’s national governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Operational activities are undertaken by a wholly owned subsidiary, LGU Championships Limited (LGUCL), which in particular owns and runs the Ricoh Women’s British Open, founded by the LGU in 1976 and one of the five major championships for professional women golfers. LGUCL also has responsibility for running British Amateur Championships and Home International events, and preparing the Great Britain & Ireland teams for representative matches, such as the Curtis Cup and the Vagliano Trophy.
Further information about the LGU is available on www.lgu.org.