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GB&I leads USA, 3 1/2 to 2 1/2

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – A closely fought battle between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland on a breezy, sun-struck afternoon on Friday at the historic 6,247-yard, par-70 Essex County Club gave the visitors a one-point lead, 3½-2½, in the 36th Curtis Cup Match.

Great Britain and Ireland is seeking its first win since 1996 in this biennial competition that was founded in 1932 by Essex members Margaret and Harriot Curtis.

Of the three foursomes (alternate-shot) encounters and three best-ball matches Friday, four ended on the 18th hole. The last four-ball match in the afternoon session between GB&I’s Sally Watson and Lisa Maguire and the USA ’s Jessica Korda and Tiffany Lua , gave GB&I its leading margin.

Leading 1 up, both GB&I players drove into the fairway of the 414-yard, par 4 18th hole. But the flagstick was tucked near the left edge of the green and Maguire’s position on the right side of the fairway gave her a better angle of approach. The 15-year-old from Ireland hit a 6-iron to within 20 feet of the hole. She was followed by Korda, whose approach was 5 feet closer.

Both players narrowly missed their birdie attempts, but Lua got it up and down from deep grass behind the green for a USA par. Maguire stood over her 2½-footer, knowing if she converted, GB&I would win the match.

“I was just thinking of holing it,” said Maguire. When it went in, there was a huge roar from GB&I supporters, who have not enjoyed a Curtis Cup victory in 14 years. Incidentally, that was the last time GB&I led after the first day.

“ Sally , my partner, had made a lot of putts all the way around, so I was delighted,” said Maguire, whose twin sister, Leona , also is competing this week.

GB&I captain Mary McKenna was philosophical about her team’s one-point lead. “They (the USA ) stole it in the morning in the first [foursomes] match, and we stole it back in the afternoon. But it’s only day one.”

Mohler, the USA captain, added: “There’s lots of golf left … and that’s what I’ll tell my team. ‘Get ‘er done’ has kind of been our motto.”

The USA captured its lone point in the four-ball matches when Alexis Thompson and Jennifer Johnson handed Rachel Jennings and Leona Maguire , a 3-and-2 defeat. The GB&I team picked up another point when Danielle McVeigh, at 22 the oldest player competing this week, and Pamela Pretswell led off the afternoon encounters with a surprising 4-and-3 victory over Jennifer Song and Kimberly Kim, who own three USGA national championships between them and have been in seven USGA amateur finals.

The Curtis Cup continues on Saturday with three four-ball matches and three foursomes matches, then concludes on Sunday with eight singles.

The Curtis Cup Match is conducted by the United States Golf Association and the Ladies Golf Union.

Results

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Results of the first round of foursomes and four-balls at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match, played Friday at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club.

Foursomes

Match 1

Sally Watson, Scotland, and Rachel Jennings, England (GB&I) halved with Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (USA)

Match 2 Hannah Barwood, England, and Holly Clyburn, England (GB&I) halved with Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA)

Match 3 Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) halved with Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C., and Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Four-balls Match 1 Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Pamela Pretswell, Scotland (GB&I) def. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Kimberly Kim, Pahoa, Hawaii (USA), 4 and 3

Match 2 Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (USA) def. Rachel Jennings, England, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&), 3 and 2

Match 3 Sally Watson, Scotland, and Lisa Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) def. Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla., and Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA), 1 up

Pairings Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Pairings for the second round of four-ball matches, to be played Saturday morning at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club (times are EDT ):

Four-balls Match 1 8:30 a.m. – Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Pamela Pretswell, Scotland (GB&I) vs. Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA)

Match 2 8:40 a.m. – Leona Maguire, Ireland, and Lisa Maguire, Ireland (GB&) vs. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (USA)

Match 3 8:50 a.m. – Sally Watson, Scotland, and Rachel Jennings, England, (GB&I) vs. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu

==============================

MORNING MATCH RESULTS:

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. (June 11, 2010) – Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America were tied after all three foursomes matches were halved on Friday morning at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match being contested at the 6,247-yard, par-70 Essex County Club.

“It’s quite freaky,” said Holly Clyburn, who teamed with Hannah Barwood to give GB&I a half-point after squaring the match with the USA’s Alexis Thompson and Jessica Korda.

In the anchor match, Great Britain & Ireland’s Danielle McVeigh holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to put the two teams on equal footing going into the three afternoon four-ball matches.

With the USA’s Stephanie Kono and Cydney Clanton 1 up on the 18th tee, a stellar approach shot by 15-year-old Leona Maquire gave McVeigh, a 22 the oldest player on either side, a chance to make the putt that squared the match.

Jennifer Song and Jennifer Johnson of the USA salvaged half- point in the first match with a brilliant rally against GB&I’s Sally Watson and Rachel Jennings. Two down with two to play, Song and Johnson birdied 17 and then won the 18th hole with a par.

Song split the fairway with her drive on the 414-yard closing hole, while Watson, who just completed her freshman year at Stanford University, drove deep into the right rough, where her ball nestled in high grass. GB&I could only salvage a bogey, giving the USA the hole and a crucial half-point.

Thompson and Korda struggled midway through the inward nine in their match with Clyburn and Barwood when they four-putted the 14th hole. The USA team was 1 up when Thompson hit to within 30 feet of the 165-yard hole. But Korda’s first putt stopped 6 feet short of the hole.

“It was downhill and down-grain and I thought it would roll out, but it stopped,” Korda said. Thompson tried to ram in the 6-footer for par, but the ball sailed 3 feet past. “I didn’t think I’d hit it that hard,” Thompson said. When Korda missed the comebacker, the team had made a double-bogey 5 and the match was square, where it remained when it ended on the 18th green.

The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial competition between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland that began in 1932 and is conducted by the Ladies Golf Union and the United States Golf Association.

Rhonda Glenn is the manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at rglenn@usga.org.

Results

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. – Results of the first round of foursomes at the 2010 Curtis Cup Match, played Friday morning at the par-70, 6,247-yard Essex County Club.

Match 1

Sally Watson, Scotland, and Rachel Jennings, England (GB&I) halved with Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (USA)

Match 2 Hannah Barwood, England, and Holly Clyburn, England (GB&I) halved with Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla., and Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (USA)

Match 3 Danielle McVeigh, Ireland, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I) halved with Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C., and Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

View results for Curtis Cup Golf Tournament

ABOUT THE Curtis Cup

Officially named "The Women's International Cup," the first Curtis Cup wasn't officially held until 1932. The biennial competition features the best female players from the United States of America pitted against a similar squad from Great Britain and Ireland. While it was hoped that many nations would eventually join the Match, the Curtis Cup has remained a two-sided competition.

View Complete Tournament Information

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