The International Team Selection Committee of the United States Golf Association has invited 12 players to participate in a practice session in advance of the 2016 Curtis Cup Match. The session for prospective players will be held Dec. 18-19 at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.
The 2016 Curtis Cup Match will be contested June 10-12 at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, located in Enniskerry, Ireland. The USA won the 2014 Match, 13-7, at St. Louis (Mo.) Country Club.
The following 12 players - none of whom competed in 2014 - have accepted invitations to the practice session:
Sierra Brooks, of Sorrento, Fla.
Karen Chung, of Livingston, N.J. (University of Southern California)
Mariel Galdiano, of Pearl City, Hawaii
Caroline Inglis, of Eugene, Ore. (University of Oregon)
Andrea Lee, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Mika Liu, of Beverly Hills, Calif.
Anna Newell, of Tampa, Fla. (University of Tennessee)
Hannah O’Sullivan, of Chandler, Ariz.
Bailey Tardy, of Peachtree Corners, Ga. (University of Georgia)
Gabriella Then, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (University of Southern California)
Monica Vaughn, of Reedsport, Ore. (Arizona State University)
Bethany Wu, of Diamond Bar, Calif. (University of California, Los Angeles)
All 12 invitees are in the top 45 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ as of Nov. 16, led by world No. 2 and reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion O’Sullivan.
Liu, co-champion of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, and Then, champion of the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior, join O’Sullivan as USGA champions invited to the practice session. Three USGA runners-up were also invited. In addition to her Women’s Amateur victory, O’Sullivan was co-runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Brooks fell to O’Sullivan in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur final, while Chung was runner-up in the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Robin Burke, the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up and a member of the 1998 USA Curtis Cup Team, will serve as captain of the USA Team. Burke is the vice president of Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, which she co-owns with her husband, two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr.
"It will be exciting to see 12 of the top players from the United States come together for this practice session,” said Burke. “These players will practice both the four-ball and foursomes formats used in the Curtis Cup Match, which will help in the final selection process. I also hope that they enjoy this time together, in hopes of being one of the final eight to make the team."
Invitation to the Curtis Cup practice session does not guarantee selection to the USA Team that will compete in June. Players who are not invited may still be under consideration for the team.
Practice session host site San Diego C.C. will also host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. It previously hosted two USGA championships: the 1964 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Mickey Wright, and the 1993 U.S. Women’s Amateur, won by Jill McGill.
The Curtis Cup Match is contested by two teams of eight female amateur players, one from the United States of America and one from Great Britain and Ireland (which is made up of England, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). The USGA’s International Team Selection Committee selects the USA Team, while the Ladies Golf Union selects the GB&I Team.
Elaine Farquharson-Black will serve as GB&I captain. Farquharson-Black, a native of Scotland, represented GB&I in the 1990 and 1992 Curtis Cup Matches.
With its victory in the 2014 Match, the USA leads the overall series, 28-7-3. The GB&I Team won the 2012 Match at The Nairn Golf Club in Scotland, the last time the Match was played on GB&I soil, to halt a streak of seven consecutive victories for the USA. Prior to that, the USA had not lost since the 1996 Match at Killarney Golf and Field Club in Ireland, the only other time the biennial competition was held in the Republic of Ireland.