CURTIS CUP
USA Sweeps Four-Ball Matches To Take Two-Point Lead June 11, 2010 By Rhonda Glenn, USGA

Florida teens Alexis Thompson (left) and Jessica Korda did plenty of high-fiving in their 2-and-1 four-ball victory Saturday morning that helped the USA grab a two-point lead following a sweep of the three matches at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match being contested at Essex County Club. (John Mummert/USGA)

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – The USA vaulted into a two-point lead over Great Britain and Ireland after sweeping the morning four-ball contests in the 36th Curtis Cup Match at the 6,247-yard, par-70 Essex County Club course. The USA leads 5½ to 3½.

The GB&I team tried valiantly to tie the last match and rescue a half point, but the USA team of Stephanie Kono and Kimberly Kim held on to win at the 18th, 2 up.

Kono put her team ahead with a 10-foot birdie putt at the 17th to go 1 up. Both Americans drove into the fairway on the twisting par-4 18th, before both Sally Watson and Rachel Jennings drove into deep rough. With Watson’s ball located, a squad of spectators looked in vain for Jennings’ ball until the search was abandoned. It was all up to Watson.

From 155 yards and a scrubby lie in deep grass, Watson blasted a clean 7-iron shot out of the rough. As the ball headed for the green, she yelled, Go! Go! Go! Her ball took one hop on the fringe and rolled to within 10 feet of hole.

But Kono’s approach shot from 133 yards settled within 8 feet, while Kim’s second spun back off the green into the front fringe. Kim chipped nicely, guaranteeing a par. Watson had to make her birdie putt to have a chance to win the hole and halve the match, but her putt lipped out. GB&I conceded Kono’s 8-footer and the USA completed the sweep of morning matches.

The USA’s Jennifer Song, last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, made nine birdies on her own as she and Cydney Clanton came in early with a 3-and-2 victory over the 15-year-old Irish twins, Leona and Lisa Maguire. Song was generous in victory.

Cydney made pars when she was supposed to and made me feel very comfortable out there, Song said.

It was the first winning point for the USA, which began the morning trailing (3½-2½) after day one of the Curtis Cup for the first time since 1996, the last time GB&I won.

Alexis Thompson and Jessica Korda captured the USA’s second point of the day with a 2-and-1 win over Danielle McVeigh and Pamela Pretswell. Two holes down at the 17th, Pretswell tried to extend the match but her birdie putt grazed the hole. Korda had only to get down in two putts for a par to halve the hole and win the match, which she did.

Thompson started the match with three consecutive birdies and made five birdies through the first eight holes to get the USA team off to a 4-up start. But McVeigh and Pretswell recovered and pulled to within one hole at the 14th.

They started draining putts from out of nowhere, Thompson said. At the 15th, McVeigh poured in another long birdie putt and threatened to square the match before Thompson made her birdie putt to hold onto the 1-up lead.

That was pretty big, Thompson said. I played it right edge and just hit it hard.

The match ended at the 17th green. Thompson and Korda have been paired again in the afternoon foursomes matches by USA captain Noreen Mohler and will face McVeigh again, who is paired with Leona Maguire. Song and Kono take on Hannah Barwood and Holly Clyburn, who sat out the morning matches. Tiffany Lua and Jennifer Johnson, who were on the USA sidelines early in the day, will play Watson and Jennings.

Results

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Results of the second round of four-balls at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match, played Saturday at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club.

Four-balls
Match 1
Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA) def.
Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Pamela Pretswell, Scotland (GB&I), 2 and 1

Match 2
Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (USA) def. Leona Maguire, Ireland, and Lisa Maguire, Ireland (GB&I), 3 and 2

Match 3
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Kimberly Kim, Pahoa, Hawaii (USA) def. Sally Watson, Scotland, and Rachel Jennings, England, (GB&I), 2 up


Pairings
Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Pairings for the second round of foursomes matches, to be played Saturday afternoon at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club (times are EDT):

Foursomes
Match 1
2:15 p.m. – Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) vs. Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA)

Match 2
2:25 p.m. – Hannah Barwood, England, and Holly Clyburn, England (GB&I) vs. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Match 3
2:35 p.m. – Sally Watson, Scotland, and Rachel Jennings, England (GB&I) vs. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif., and Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (USA)

More from the USGA