Nairn, Scotland – The United States of America continued its foursomes (alternate-shot) dominance, taking two of three matches on a rainy Saturday morning to take a 6-3 lead over Great Britain and Ireland at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, being conducted at The Nairn Golf Club in Nairn, Scotland.
Captain Pat Cornett, back at the helm of the USA Team after breaking her ankle Friday afternoon, was pleased with her team’s rather surprising success.
“We focused on [foursomes] a lot during both our practice session in January and then mentally preparing here, so I couldn't have asked for a better outcome,” said Cornett, a two-time Curtis Cup participant (1978 and 1988). “That's not a format we [play] very much back in America, so it requires an adjustment. So I thought the girls were just amazing.”
All three USA foursomes pairings from Friday’s first round were sent out again on Saturday. Amy Anderson, 19, of Oxbow, N.D., and Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif., opened strong with consecutive birdies for an immediate 2-up lead over Pamela Pretswell, 23, of Scotland, and Charley Hull, 16, of England.
Pretswell, one of three returners from the 2010 GB&I squad, and Hull, the world’s fifth-ranked amateur, were able to square the match with a birdie at the par-5 seventh hole. However, GB&I bogeys at the ensuing two holes put the match back in USA hands, and Anderson and Lua held on for a 3-and-2 victory.
Anderson is now 3-0 for the Match, and has the opportunity to join Stacy Lewis (2008) as the only players with a 5-0 record at the Curtis Cup. The Match went to a three-day format in 2008.
Brooke Pancake, 22, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Austin Ernst, 20, of Seneca, S.C., also matched their first-round success with a hard-fought 2-up victory over Holly Clyburn, 20, of England, and Amy Boulden, 18, of Wales.
The Americans built a 3-up lead by the sixth hole, capitalizing off three GB&I bogeys. But Clyburn and Boulden tenaciously fought back, and even grabbed a brief 1-up lead after 11 holes. But Pancake and Ernst, both semifinalists at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur, immediately squared the match and ultimately took the victory by winning the final two holes.
Both of Pancake and Ernst’s foursomes matches required the full 18 holes, the only two matches to go the distance in the first three sessions.
The USA’s only loss came as a measure of redemption for Stephanie Meadow, 20, of Northern Ireland, and Leona Maguire, 17, of Ireland. The pair had met resounding defeat on Friday at the hands of Lindy Duncan, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas, and were then benched by GB&I Captain Tegwen Matthews for the afternoon’s action.
However, the Irish pair stormed back in Saturday morning’s rematch with Duncan and McCloskey. In a duel that saw a combined seven conceded holes, Meadow, a college teammate of Pancake at the University of Alabama, and Maguire, who played for GB&I at the 2010 Match, vanquished yesterday’s demons and never trailed in a 3-and-1 victory.
While disappointed by the morning’s results, Matthews still has faith in her team’s capabilities of a comeback..
“There’s no reason why we can’t do it,” she said. “They are very focused. They are trying their absolute hardest. I couldn’t ask for more.”
The Curtis Cup continues Saturday afternoon with three four-ball (best-ball) matches and concludes with eight singles matches on Sunday.
A point is awarded for each victory and a half-point goes to each side for a draw. The USA, winners of the last seven contests in the biennial series, needs 10 points to retain the Cup, while GB&I needs 10.5 points to regain the Cup.
The Curtis Cup Match is conducted by the United States Golf Association and the Ladies Golf Union.
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nairn, Scotland – Results from Saturday morning’s second round of foursomes matches at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, conducted at the par-72, 6,313-yard The Nairn Golf Club:
Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D., and Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA) def. Pamela Pretswell, Scotland, and Charley Hull, England (GB&I), 3 and 2
Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C., and Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn. (USA) def. Holly Clyburn, England, and Amy Boulden, Wales (GB&I), 2 up
Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) def. Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (USA), 3 and 1
Nairn, Scotland – Pairings for the second round of four-ball matches at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, to be played Saturday afternoon at the par-72, 6,313-yard The Nairn Golf Club (all times GMT):
1 p.m.: Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif., and Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. (USA) vs. Holly Clyburn, England, and Kelly Tidy, England (GB&I)
1:15 p.m.: Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C. (USA) vs. Leona Maguire, Ireland, and Bronte Law, England
1:30 p.m.: Erica Popson, Davenport, Fla., and Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA) vs. Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland, and Pamela Pretswell, Scotland (GB&I)