CURTIS CUP
GB&I’s India Clyburn Follows Big Sister Holly Onto Curtis Cup Stage June 5, 2018 | Scarsdale, N.Y. By Lauren Witherspoon, The R&A

India Clyburn (light-blue hat) was inspired to play in the Curtis Cup by big-sister Holly's victory in 2012 at Nairn (R&A/Dave Cannon)

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England’s India Clyburn plays most of her golf in the United States and plans to pass on any information she can to help her Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup teammates gain an advantage over their American counterparts.

But Clyburn has another trump card up her sleeve, an elder sister that knows exactly what is required to lift the historic trophy, having done it herself.

Holly Clyburn won three out of her five matches at Nairn in 2012. The points she secured contributed to GB&I’s first victory in 16 years in the biennial competition. She played in every session and went on to qualify for the Women’s British Open later that year.

She might be a fully-fledged professional competing on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour now, but Clyburn junior says it’s the memories of watching her big sister compete in the Scottish Highlands that have stuck with her forever.

“At Nairn we had such a large group with us and we were so loud,” India said. “She (Holly) played so well that week. If you ask anyone in our family – it’s a week we all remember.”

But did 15-year-old India believe that one day she would be following in her sibling’s footsteps? The pair will become only the second tandem sisters – with Leona and Lisa Maguire the first in 2010 – to  play in the Curtis Cup when the Match gets underway at Quaker Ridge Golf Club on Friday.

“It was crazy time, and everyone was asking me if I was ever going to do it,” explained India. “You tell people, yes, but I was only 15 and you don’t actually think you ever will – and then it happened!”

Having already emulated Holly by representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against continental Europe last year in Italy, and with her own plans to turn professional next year after completing her studies at North Carolina State University, the 21-year-old is quick to dispel any notion of a rivalry between the pair.

“It’s not a thing, ‘Oh Holly has done it so I have to do it.’ It’s the way any amateur golfer wants to progress.

“But having seen Holly play in the Curtis Cup, it was easy to see that that was what I wanted to do as well. It was just such a big help.

“She has definitely paved the way for me. She’s made it easy for me to know how to get into the teams. I watched her play at Nairn and that was really inspiring. She is obviously good for advice and I just ask her anything. She gives me the best advice – she’s actually quite good for that…”

Lauren Witherspoon is the digital content manager for The R&A.

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