The USA Team Recorded Its Sixth Consecutive Triumph With Its Largest Margin Of Victory In More Than A Decade
2008 Championship Annual: The Year In Review
By Beth Murrison, USGA
|The USA squad revels in its victory. (USGA Museum)|
There was no shortage of winners at the 2008 Curtis Cup Match.
Let's start with a USA team that included four USGA champions (Kimberly Kim, Tiffany Joh, Mina Harigae, Meghan Bolger); two Curtis Cup veterans (Amanda Blumenherst — who would win the U.S. Women's Amateur later in the season — and Jennie Lee); the 2007 NCAA individual champion (Stacy Lewis) and a player who earned first-team honors in three different collegiate conferences (Alison Walshe — Pac-10, Big East and Conference USA).
That group helped the eight-player USA team to a 13-7 victory over the squad representing Great Britain and Ireland. It was the sixth consecutive win for the USA and the Americans' largest margin of victory since the 1990 Match.
Leading the charge was the undefeated duo of Lewis and Walshe. The latter, a native of Ireland who moved to the U.S. as a youth, won her fourth match with a 1-up decision amid wind and rain over Scottish teenager Sally Watson. That earned the USA its final point in its six-point victory.
Lewis, for her part, figured the 2008 matches would be her last opportunity to shine in amateur golf, as she planned to turn professional shortly after the Curtis Cup (which she did).
She certainly made the most of it. Despite having never played foursomes (alternate-shot) or four-balls (better-ball), Lewis went a perfect 5-0 for the USA, with two foursomes and two four-ball victories prior to a final-day singles win over Scotland's Liz Bennett. That match clinched the winning point and marked the first time any player had gone 5-0 in a single Curtis Cup Match. "Coming in I wanted to play as much as I could and win every match," said Lewis. "But in match play you're never really sure what's going to happen. I'm very happy that I got all those wins."
This year's event also marked a few other "firsts." It was the first time the Curtis Cup has been waged over three days, featuring foursomes and four-ball matches the first two days and all 16 players competing in Sunday singles. In addition, the Old Course at St. Andrews is one of golf's legendary sites, and this was the first time the Curtis Cup Match had been played here — and the players adored it. "Maybe we should play the Curtis Cup at St. Andrews every four years," said USA Captain Carol Semple Thompson, the seven-time USGA champion who led the American squad to victory for the second consecutive time.
As a 12-time Curtis Cupper, it would be difficult to imagine anyone more qualified to offer such an opinion. Beth Murrison is manager, education and outreach, for the USGA Museum.This article first appeared in the 2008 Championship Annual, a special publication mailed to USGA Members in November.