The USA defeated Great Britain and Ireland, 12½-7½, in the 36th Curtis Cup Match at the 6,247-yard, par-70 Essex County Club, clinching the Cup when Jennifer Johnson made a 2-foot putt at the 14th hole.
GB&I won four of Sunday’s eight singles matches, but the effort wasn’t enough to overcome Saturday’s 8½-3½ deficit. The USA has now won 27 of the biennial matches that began in 1932. GB&I has won six times, the last in 1996. Three matches were tied.
Minutes before the winning putt, the two teams traded points when the USA’s Alexis Thompson defeated GB&I’s Sally Watson, 6 and 5, and GB&I’s Danielle McVeigh edged Jennifer Song, 3 and 2. The Curtis Cup totals stood at 9½ to 4½, and the USA needed at least a half-point to win.
With Johnson’s ball resting against high fringe at the 14th green, she made a superb chip and holed her putt for a par. It sealed a 5-and-4 victory over Rachel Jennings of GB&I and secured the needed 10½ points for the United States.
"It was the highlight of my amateur career, so far. It was cool," Johnson said of clinching the winning point.
Noreen Mohler, captain of the USA team, said her team’s victory was a continuation of Saturday’s play, when the USA swept six matches. Yesterday was huge, she said, We just continued making the putts.
Johnson and Thompson were the only undefeated players this week. Thompson won four matches and halved one. Johnson, who sat out Saturday’s four-ball matches, won three and halved one. McVeigh was the top point-winner for GB&I with 2½ points against two losses.
Thompson, 15, was overpowering in her match with Watson, hitting long tee shots and frequently firing at the flagstick. Thompson won the first hole with a par and was 4 up after nine holes. With the usual match-play concessions, she was two under par for the match.
McVeigh, the longest hitter on the GB&I team, used her power and superb touch on the greens to take early control of her match with Song. She went 1 up with an eagle on the 457-yard, par-5 fifth hole after hitting a 5-iron to the green and holing a 20-foot putt. She won the eighth with a 60-foot birdie putt. Her bogey won the ninth after Song’s drive bounced sharply right into the high fescue grass, starting Song on a trail to a double-bogey.
McVeigh won the 13th with a par to go 4 up. Song won the 15th with a birdie to cut the margin to three holes. They halved the 16th, ending the match.
"That’s what I went out to do, play well, and try to filter it down to the rest of the team," McVeigh said.
GB&I’s other three wins came when Lisa Maguire edged Kimberly Kim, 1 up, and her twin sister Leona Maguire defeated Tiffany Lua, 2 and 1. Holly Clyburn defeated Stephanie Kono, 2 and 1 for the fourth GB&I singles point. The USA claimed its remaining two points by 4-and-3 margins when Cydney Clanton defeated Hannah Barwood and Jessica Korda defeated Pamela Pretswell.
GB&I Captain Mary McKenna said her team remained upbeat, "They tried their best out there and to halve in singles (matches) was superb. We will rise again."
Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Results of the singles matches played Sunday at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club.
Danielle McVeigh, Ireland (GB&I) def. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. (USA), 3 and 2
Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (USA) def. Sally Watson, Scotland (GB&I), 6 and 5
Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (USA) def. Rachel Jennings, England (GB&I), 5 and 4
Lisa Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) def. Kimberly Kim, Pahoa, Hawaii (USA), 1 up
Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (USA) def. Hannah Barwood, England (GB&I), 4 and 3
Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) def. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA), 2 and 1
Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA) def. Pamela Pretswell, Scotland (GB&I), 4 and 3
Holly Clyburn, England (GB&I) def. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA), 2 and 1