Bronte Law couldn’t have written a better script.
In the same week she was named the recipient of the 2016 Annika Award for being college golf’s female player of the year, the 21-year-old from England added one more impressive item to her growing portfolio.
Law completed only the second 5-0 week in a Curtis Cup – LPGA Tour star Stacy Lewis was the first to achieve it in 2008 – by helping Great Britain and Ireland to an 11½-8½ victory over the USA at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. She punctuated her third – and likely last – appearance in the biennial competition by rallying to beat Mika Liu, 2 up, in Sunday singles. The clinching point had come moments earlier from teammate Meghan MacLaren, but everyone surrounding the 18th green knew who the star of the week was.
“If anyone was going to do it, it was going to be her,” said MacLaren. “She’s played Curtis Cups before and she’s an unbelievable match player. She really led our team this week.”
Law, who plans to return to UCLA this fall for her senior season, has been on an incredible ride the past four years. She was just making a name for herself when she played on the victorious 2012 GB&I Team at The Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. By the time she was named to the 2014 team, she was one of the country’s top collegiate golfers. Now she is No. 4 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™.
This past season, she won three times for the Bruins – who reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship – and led the nation with a 70.61 scoring average. She also joined 2014 USA Curtis Cup player Alison Lee and 2012 and 2016 GB&I teammate Leona Maguire as the only recipients of the three-year-old Annika Award.
But this week’s Curtis Cup had special meaning. Law’s parents, sister and other friends and family came to Ireland for the Match, people she hadn’t seen in six months due to her collegiate duties. She also proved to be a leader for Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black’s side.
“I played some great golf,” said Law. “I felt very comfortable. This is the best I’ve putted in my whole life. It’s been incredible.”
Law tried to defuse talk of tying Lewis’ perfect Match record after Saturday’s four-ball win with partner Olivia Mehaffey. All of her focus this week has been about team achievements, not individual ones. But now that GB&I has reclaimed the Curtis Cup and she’s in the record books, Law can reflect on the remarkable accomplishment.
“I’m speechless,” she said. “I believe that these things happen for a reason.”
Motivation for 2018
Bailey Tardy left Dun Laoghaire on Sunday with a respectable 3-2 record, including a Sunday singles victory over Charlotte Thomas. The experience she said was an 11 out of a possible 10. Now she’d like to be on the winning side and she’s looking ahead to the 2018 Match at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.
“I have to say I will definitely want to get our revenge on our soil,” said Tardy. “In my heart, I thought we won. We fought and we played well. [But] I definitely want to get back.
“We should all be eligible. It would be nice to have this team back. I think we bond well and play well together.”
The total announced attendance for the three-day competition was 14,000, surpassing the record-12,000 spectators for the 2012 Match at Nairn … It was announced on Sunday that the 2020 Curtis Cup will be contested at Conwy Golf Club in Wales … Saturday’s weather suspension was believed to be the first in Match history when conducted in Great Britain and Ireland. The 1956 and 1976 Curtis Cups at Prince’s Golf Club and Royal Lytham & St. Annes – both in England – were plagued by bad weather, but the competition was never interrupted … The USA’s Monica Vaughn will not travel home with the rest of her team on Monday. Like Law, she plans to compete in the Ladies British Open AmateurChampionship at Dundonald Links in Scotland June 21-25.
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.