Narin, Scotland – It was a glorious Scottish evening along the shores of the North Sea that opened the 37th Curtis Cup Match at The Nairn Golf Club.
With the pomp and circumstance provided by a bagpipe band and costumed highland-battle reenactors, the teams from Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America marched onto the Nairn lawn to the applause of the gathered crowd, which numbered well over 500.
Speeches by Gillian Kirkwood, chairman of the Ladies Golf Union, and Martha Lang, chairman of the USGA’s Women’s Committee, welcomed the audience to the evening’s festivities. During Kirkwood’s address, the reenactors staged a battle near the 18th green for custody of the three country flags, complete with musket shots that caused many in the crowd to jump. When Kirkwood spoke of the spirited battles that characterize the Curtis Cup, a well-timed volley of shots peppered the sky, much to the amusement of the teams and audience.
USA captain Pat Cornett, GB&I manager Anna Hubbard and GB&I captain Tegwen Matthews raised the United States, Ireland and Great Britain flags, respectively. Local youths from the Nairn Academy accompanied the flag-raising ceremony by singing the countries’ national anthems. God Save the Queen, the national anthem of the British Commonwealth, received a hearty sing-along by the crowd.
Pamela Pretswell, the lone Scottish representative for Great Britain and Ireland, received an enthusiastic round of applause upon her introduction by Matthews. Pretswell is one of three members of the GB&I Team who participated in the 2010 Match at Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
Friday morning’s foursomes (alternate-shot) pairings are as follows:
8 a.m. GMT/3 a.m. EST – Austin Ernst/Brooke Pancake (USA) vs. Kelly Tidy/Amy Boulden (GB&I)
8:12 a.m. GMT/3:12 a.m. EST – Amy Anderson/Tiffany Lua (USA) vs. Holly Clyburn/Bronte Law (GB&I)
8:24 a.m. GMT/3:24 a.m. EST – Lindy Duncan/Lisa McCloskey (USA) vs. Leona Maguire/Stephanie Meadow (GB&I)
Friday afternoon’s four-ball (best-ball) pairings will be announced between rounds.
Note: A team receives one point for a win. If the teams are tied after 18 holes, each side is awarded a half-point. The USA needs 10 points to retain the Curtis Cup. Great Britain and Ireland needs 10.5 points to regain the Cup.