FAR HILLS, N.J. (Jan. 15, 2008) – Four United States Golf Association champions headline the eight-woman amateur golf team selected by the Association to represent the United States of America at the 2008 Curtis Cup Match, which will be played May 30-June 1 on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Two-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Bolger, 29, of Haddonfield, N.J., and Kimberly Kim, 16, of Hilo, Hawaii, who won the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur, will be joined by two U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champions – Tiffany Joh, 21, of San Diego, Calif., and Mina Harigae, 18, of Monterey, Calif.
That quartet is joined by two members of the victorious 2006 USA Curtis Cup team: Amanda Blumenherst, 21, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jennie Lee, 21, of Henderson, Nev., who are teammates at Duke University. Reigning NCAA Division I collegiate champion and two-time amateurgolf.com-Bridgestone Golf women's champ Stacy Lewis, 22, of The Woodlands, Texas, and Alison Walshe, 22, of Westford, Mass., complete the team.
The Curtis Cup Match, scheduled every other year, features eight female amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland and eight players who represent the USA. Beginning this year, the Match will change to a three-day format, featuring three foursomes (alternate shot) and three four-ball (better-ball) matches on the first two days. On the final day, all eight players from each side will play in singles matches.
The 2008 USA team will be captained by seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson, 59, of Sewickley, Pa. Thompson, who counts the 1973 U.S. Women's Amateur among her seven USGA titles, also served as captain of the USA squad that won the 2006 Curtis Cup Match at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
Blumenherst, a junior at Duke, was the runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She tied for low-amateur honors at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open and also made the cut at the 2007 Women’s Open. In addition to playing on the 2006 USA Curtis Cup team (1-2 overall record), she represented the USA at the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Among her numerous collegiate victories are the 2006 and 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Blumenherst, a two-time national collegiate player of the year and first-team All-America, was the 2006 Edith Cummings Mason Golf Award honoree, which recognizes the female All-America golfer with the highest grade-point average. She was also honored as the 2007 Nancy Lopez Award winner, which recognizes the top amateur female golfer.
Bolger, who won the 2006 and 2007 U. S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, also qualified for the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open and earned a top-five finish at the 2008 South Atlantic Ladies Amateur. She has played in four U.S. Women’s Amateurs and won seven consecutive Philadelphia Women’s Amateurs. Bolger, who served as the head women’s golf coach at the University of Mississippi for seven years, is a 2000 graduate of Tulane University.
Harigae, a high-school senior who will attend Duke in the fall of 2008, won the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. She made the cut at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open and has played in five U.S. Women’s Amateurs and five U.S. Girls’ Juniors. Harigae, a two-time semifinalist at the Girls’ Junior, was the stroke-play medalist at the 2006 championship after shooting an 8-under-par 64. She is a four-time California Women’s State Amateur champion and has been an American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Rolex All-America first-team selection three times.
Joh, a junior at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), won the 2006 Women’s Amateur Public Links title with a 6-and-5 victory over Kimberly Kim. She won the 2007 Pac-10 individual title and was the runner-up at the 2007 NCAA West Regional. Joh, a first-team collegiate All-American in 2005-06 and a second-team selection in 2006-07, made the cut at the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic in 2007. She also won the 2007 Bucaramanga Open in Colombia.
Kim, a high-school junior, became the youngest U.S. Women’s Amateur champion when she won the 2006 championship at 14. She was the runner-up at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and a semifinalist at the 2007 Women’s Amateur. She was the stroke-play medalist at the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior after recording a championship-tying first-round 62. Kim, who was the youngest to make the cut at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open, represented the USA at the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.
Lee, a junior at Duke, tied for low-amateur honors at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open and made the cut at the 2004 Women’s Open. In addition to playing on the victorious 2006 USA Curtis Cup team (2-1 overall record), she was a member of the USA team that won the 2007 Copa de las Americas and represented the USA at the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. She is a three-time quarterfinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Lee was the 2006 NCAA Division I runner-up. She earned second-team collegiate All-America honors in 2006-07.
Lewis, a senior at the University of Arkansas, shot a final-round 6-under-par 66 to claim the 2007 NCAA Division I individual title. She was a member of the USA’s victorious team at the 2007 Copa de las Americas and finished fifth at the 2007 LPGA Tour Kraft Nabisco Championship, earning low-amateur honors. She shot a 65 at the LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship in 2007 and led after the first round of the event, which was eventually canceled after one round due to weather. Lewis, who qualified for the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open and made the cut at the 2007 LPGA Tour Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, counts among her many victories the 2007 Women’s Southern Amateur, the 2006 Harder Hall Invitational and the 2005 Southeastern Conference individual title. In 2006, she was a semifinalist at both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the North and South Women’s Amateur Championship. She is a two-time first-team collegiate All-American and was named the 2007 Dinah Shore Trophy Award winner.
Walshe, a senior at the University of Arizona, started 2008 with a victory at the Harder Hall Invitational. She also won the 2007 North and South Women’s Amateur Championship. Walshe, who began her collegiate career at Boston College before transferring to Tulane University, has earned first-team honors in three different conferences: the Big East in 2003-04, Conference USA in 2004-05 and the Pac-10 in 2006-07. She won the 2004 Big East Conference title and was that conference’s player of the year for 2003-04. She matched that feat upon transferring to Tulane, winning the 2005 Conference USA Championship and earning the conference’s player of the year honor. She was a co-medalist at the 2007 Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and counts among her collegiate victories the 2007 BYU Dixie Classic and the 2006 Stanford Invitational. She earned first-team collegiate All-America honors in 2006-07 and was a second-team selection in 2005-06.
The alternates for the 2008 USA team, in rank order, are: Taylore Karle, 17, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Mallory Blackwelder, 20, of Versailles, Ky.; and Jennifer Song, 18, who holds dual citizenship in the USA and Korea.
The USA team has won the last five Curtis Cup Matches, in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. The USA leads the series, begun in 1932, by a 25-6-3 margin.