The USA won three singles matches and halved a fourth on Sunday to regain the Curtis Cup, 13-7, and cap a dominant week over Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) at St. Louis Country Club.
The winning point came courtesy of 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Emma Talley. Playing in the opening singles match, the 20-year-old from Princeton, Ky., made a 3-foot par putt on the 15th green to defeat Bronte Law, 19, of England, 4 and 3.
"Dreams do come true, that's for sure," said a jubilant Talley, who went 3-0-1 during the Match. "This was the best week ever. I'm just happy to play with my friends and to do it for my country is even better."
"That is the coolest trophy of all the seven that I've ever won," said a proud USA Captain Ellen Port, who has captured six individual USGA championships. "That is the most special trophy, always, that I will ever have, and ever have been a part of."
The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial competition between the USA and GB&I that dates to 1932 and is conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Ladies Golf Union (LGU).
A point is awarded for each victory and a half-point goes to each side for a draw. GB&I needed 10 points to retain the Cup, while the USA needed 10½ points to regain the Cup. Each team consists of eight female amateur golfers.
Talley, a rising junior at the University of Alabama, continued the steady play that was the hallmark of the USA Team throughout the three days of competition. After taking a 2-up lead with consecutive wins at the fourth and fifth holes, Talley maintained the advantage for the remainder of the match.
Talley knew that the honor of leading her team onto the course – and potentially securing the winning point – was not something to be taken lightly.
"It was a privilege that I got to go out first," said Talley, one of three Curtis Cup players who will compete in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in two weeks. "I was very happy that I got that opportunity and glad I got to secure the point."
Ally McDonald, 21, of Fulton, Miss., earned the second point for the USA. The 2013 North & South Women’s Amateur champion won the par-4 sixth with a birdie to go 1 up and cruised to a 4-and-3 victory over Annabel Dimmock, 17, of England.
"It was a blessing to have been chosen (for the team), and I just wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and make memories and play the best golf that I could," said McDonald, who will join Talley and GB&I’s Stephanie Meadow at the Women’s Open. "I expected coming in to be a big part of the team and to contribute as much as I could, and I think I played really well."
GB&I rallied to take four of the remaining six singles matches and tighten the large deficit.
"I’m so proud of the girls for how they rallied all day today," said GB&I Captain Tegwen Matthews, who is now 1-1 as captain after she led her team to victory in 2012. "Especially when they knew the match was gone, and yet they never gave up. That could have put the chins really even further down.
"But no, we won the afternoon singles session. So that's a great way to finish and gives everyone a bit of a boost to say the least from a pretty disastrous two days."
Georgia Hall, 18, of England, holed out for eagle from the fairway on 15 in her 3-and-2 victory over Kyung Kim, 20, of Chandler, Ariz. The hole-out came after Kim’s approach landed a foot from the hole.
Gemma Dryburgh, 20, of Scotland, lost a 3-up lead to Ashlan Ramsey, 18, of Milledgeville, Ga., but was able to eke out a 1-up victory.
Charlotte Thomas, 22, of England, notched her only point of the match with a 2-up win over Erynne Lee, 21, of Silverdale, Wash.
The final GB&I point went to Meadow, 22, of Northern Ireland. The recent University of Alabama graduate rallied from an early deficit to notch a 2-and-1 win over Alison Lee, 19, of Valencia, Calif.
The 2014 Curtis Cup Match was Meadow and Ramsey’s final event as amateurs, as they will turn professional immediately following the event.
Mariah Stackhouse, 20, of Riverdale, Ga., carried a 1-up lead over Eilidh Briggs, 21, of Scotland, to the 18th. However, Stackhouse’s double bogey after going long over the green halved the match.
The USA’s 9½-2½ lead following the first four sessions was the largest four-round lead since the playing format was expanded to five sessions over three days in 2008, bettering the 2010 USA mark of 8½- 3½.
The 2016 Curtis Cup Match will be conducted at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, outside of Dublin, Ireland.
Christina Lance is the assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at email@example.com.
ST. LOUIS – Results from the singles matches at the 2014 Curtis Cup Match, played Sunday, June 8, 2014, at the par-71, 6,190-yard St. Louis Country Club:
Emma Talley, Princeton, Ky. (USA) def. Bronte Law, England (GB&I), 4 and 3
Ally McDonald, Fulton, Miss. (USA) def. Annabel Dimmock, England (GB&I) 4 and 3
Georgia Hall, England (GB&I) def. Kyung Kim, Chandler, Ariz. (USA), 3 and 2
Gemma Dryburgh, Scotland (GB&I) def. Ashlan Ramsey, Milledgeville, Ga. (USA), 1 up
Charlotte Thomas, England (GB&I) def. Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (USA), 2 up
Eilidh Briggs, Scotland (GB&I) halved with Mariah Stackhouse, Riverdale, Ga. (USA)
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (USA) def. Gabriella Cowley, England (GB&I), 5 and 4
Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland (GB&I) def. Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif. (USA), 2 and 1