Far Hills, N.J. (June 2, 2006) – Virginia Grimes and Jane Park, both USGA champions and past Curtis Cuppers, headline the eight-woman amateur golf team selected to represent the United States of America at the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, which will be played July 29-30 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
The other members of the squad selected by the USGA Women’s Committee are: Amanda Blumenherst, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jennie Lee, 19, of Henderson, Nev.; Taylor Leon, 19, of Dallas, Texas; Paige Mackenzie, 23, of Yakima, Wash.; Amanda McCurdy, 22, of El Dorado, Ark.; and Jenny Suh, 20, of Fairfax, Va.
The 2006 USA team will be captained by seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson, 57, of Sewickley, Pa. Thompson, who counts the 1973 U.S. Women’s Amateur among her USGA titles, became the first person to compete in 100 USGA championships when she played in the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Curtis Cup Match, scheduled every other year, consists of 12 singles and six foursomes (alternate shot) matches. The USA team has won the last four Matches, in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. The USA leads the series, begun in 1932, by a 24-6-3 margin.
Grimes, 42, of Meridian, Miss., has played on two victorious Curtis Cup teams, in 1998 and 2000. She was the 1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and the runner-up in 2004. She is a two-time South Atlantic Women’s Amateur champion, in 1998 and 2006, and has won two Women’s Southern Amateurs (1987 and 1996). In addition, she was a member of the Alabama team that won the USGA Women’s State Team Championship in 1997. Grimes, a 1987 graduate of Auburn University, was elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Park, 19, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She was the runner-up at the 2003 Women’s Amateur and 2004 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Park, who just finished her freshman year at UCLA during which she earned first-team National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) and Pac-10 Conference honors, was on the victorious USA Curtis Cup team in 2004. She has played in the last three U.S. Women’s Opens and finished tied for 30th at the 2003 championship, and made the cut in the 2004 and 2005 LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championships. Park also helped the USA to a second-place finish at the 2004 Women’s World Amateur Team Championships.
Blumenherst just finished her freshman year at Duke University, during which she earned NGCA and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. She was also named the Edith Cummings Munson Golf Award winner, given to the All-America and Scholar All-America with the highest grade-point average in Division I women’s golf. She won the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, finished second at the NCAA Division I Central Regional and tied for ninth at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship. She had two other wins during her freshman campaign – the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational and the Mason Rudolph Women’s, her first collegiate event. She had top-10 finishes in all 11 events she played as a freshman. Blumenherst was also the 2005 Women’s Western Amateur medalist.
Lee also just finished her freshman year at Duke, highlighted by a second-place finish at the NCAA Division I Championship. She earned honorable mention NGCA All-America and first-team ACC honors for 2005-06. She made the cut at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open and made it to the quarterfinals of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur before falling to eventual champion Morgan Pressel. Lee won six AJGA events during her junior years and also played on two Canon Cup teams.
Leon just finished her freshman year at the University of Georgia, during which she earned second-team NGCA All-America and SEC first-team and Freshman of the Year honors. She had six top-10 finishes during her freshman campaign, including a victory at the 2006 Bryan National Collegiate, and finished tied for 16th at the 2006 Division I NCAA Championship. Leon was the 2005 Ione Jones-Doherty champion, defeating Pressel. She also won the 2005 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Women’s Amateur and was the runner-up at the 2005 South Atlantic Women’s Amateur. In addition, she has played in the 2004 and 2005 U.S. Women’s Opens.
Mackenzie, who just completed her senior year at the University of Washington, finished tied for 13th at the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open. She earned NGCA second-team All-America honors in 2005-06 after finishing eighth at the 2006 NCAA Division I Championship. She won the 2006 NCAA West Regional by eight strokes and the 2006 Pac-10 Championship by four strokes. Mackenzie, the 2005 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Player of the Year, also won the 2005 Women’s Trans-National and was a semifinalist at the 2005 North & South Women’s Amateur.
McCurdy was the runner-up at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She made the cut at the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, finishing tied for 38th. She earned first-team All-SEC and honorable-mention NGCA All-America honors following the 2005-06 season, during which she had two victories – the 2005 Mercedes Benz and the 2006 Lady Puerto Rico Classic. She is a two-time champion of both the Arkansas Women’s Stroke Play and Arkansas Women’s Match Play Championships. McCurdy also teamed with Mackenzie to represent the USA at the 2005 Spirit International Amateur Championship, where they finished fifth.
Suh earned first-team NGCA All-America and first-team All-SEC honors for 2005-06, her junior year at the University of Alabama. She had top-nine finishes in 10 of the 11 events she played during the season, including a victory at the 2005 ACC/SEC Challenge and runner-up finishes at The Derby and the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. She won the 2005 Southern Conference and the 2005 Lady Gamecock during her sophomore year at Furman, and finished second at the 2005 NCAA East Regional. While at Furman, she earned second-team NCGA All-America honors as a sophomore and was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year in 2003-04.
The alternates for the team, in rank order, are Irene Cho, 21, of La Habra, Calif.; Mina Harigae, 16, of Monterey, Calif.; and Jane Rah, 15, of Torrance, Calif.
The GB&I team will be named June 17
THE 2006 USA TEAM
Player, Age, Hometown
Amanda Blumenherst, 19, Scottsdale, AZ
Virginia Grimes, 42, Meridian, MS
Jennie Lee, 19, Henderson, NV
Taylor Leon, 19, Dallas, TX
Paige Mackenzie, 23, Yakima, WA
Amanda McCurdy, 22, El Dorado, AR
Jane Park, 19, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Jenny Suh, 20, Fairfax, VA