ST. LOUIS – The USA Team at the 2014 Curtis Cup Match proved to be just as hot as the weather at St. Louis Country Club on Friday morning. Under sunny skies, the team swept the four-ball matches on the 6,190-yard, par-71 layout to take a 3-0 lead over Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) heading into the three afternoon foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.
The USA duo of Alison Lee, 19, of Valencia, Calif., and Kyung Kim, 20, of Chandler, Ariz., managed the humid conditions and registered the first point. After playing the opening four holes all square with Annabel Dimmock, 17, of England, and Gemma Dryburgh, 20, of Scotland, Lee and Kim went on a tear, birdieing four of the next five holes in building a 5-up lead through 10 holes.
“I feel like we worked really well together,” said Lee, currently No. 2 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™. “Kyung was just dropping bombs today and making all her putts. We had each other’s backs – birdie here, birdie there.”
At 4 up with four holes to play, Lee stuck her approach at the par-5 15th to within 4 feet. Not to be outdone, Kim deftly knocked in a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe, clinching the 4-and-3 victory.
“I was just trying to lag it up there, and it just happened to go in,” said Kim, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion.
“It feels great to win the first point for the U.S.,” added Lee. “Hopefully we can continue that for the next two days.”
Mariah Stackhouse, 20, of Riverdale, Ga., and Emma Talley, 20, of Princeton, Ky., opened with a birdie at the par-4 first and never looked back. Despite losing a 3-up lead at the turn, the duo played bogey-free golf en route to a 2-and-1 victory over Stephanie Meadow, 22, of Northern Ireland, and Georgia Hall, 18 of England. Talley, the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, and Stackhouse, the first African-American player in Curtis Cup history, played to the equivalent of 8 under par, with the usual match-play concessions.
Annie Park, 19, of Levittown, N.Y., and Ally McDonald, 21, of Fulton, Miss., earned the third point for the USA. Like their teammates, the duo cruised to victory, playing 4-under-par golf in earning a 4-and-3 victory over Bronte Law, 19, of England, and Charlotte Thomas, 21, of England.
The USA never trailed in any of the three matches and were all square for only four holes; none later than the fourth hole. The team carded just two bogeys combined, both in the Park/McDonald pairing.
The Curtis Cup, a biennial competition between the USA and GB&I which dates to 1932 and is conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Ladies Golf Union (LGU), continues with three foursomes matches on Friday morning. The identical format will take place on Saturday, with eight singles matches scheduled for Sunday.
A point is awarded for each victory and a half-point goes to each side for a draw. The GB&I needs 10 points to retain the Cup, while USA needs 10.5 points to regain the Cup. Each team consists of eight female amateur golfers from the USA playing against eight from GB&I.
Christina Lance is an assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ST. LOUIS – Results from the first round of four-ball matches at the 2014 Curtis Cup Match, played Friday morning at the par-71, 6,190-yard St. Louis Country Club:
Mariah Stackhouse, Riverdale, Ga., and Emma Talley, Princeton, Ky. (USA) def. Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland, and Georgia Hall, England (GB&I), 2 and 1
Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif., and Kyung Kim, Chandler, Ariz. (USA) and Annabel Dimmock, England, and Gemma Dryburgh, Scotland (GB&I), 4 and 3
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y., and Ally McDonald, Fulton, Miss. (USA) def. Bronte Law, England, and Charlotte Thomas, England (GB&I), 4 and 3