U.S. dominance in Curtis Cup eye-opening
By Alistair Tait, Golfweek
NAIRN, Scotland -- Welcome to the
Catastrophe Cup. Well, it is if you’re a
British or Irish
“Catastrophe” is just the word to describe
Great Britain & Ireland’s performance in
Curtis Cup since its inception in 1932.
Put it this way, if the Curtis Cup were a
boxing match, the referee would have
the fight many years ago. Probably as
far back as 1985, when the United States
held a 19-2-2 lead.
The United States doesn’t just lead the
series – it dominates it. Of the 36 biennial
contests so far, the U.S. leads 27-6 with
three matches halved.
PROFILES: MEET THE U.S. and GREAT
BRITAIN & IRELAND TEAMS
Who on the GB&I side forgot to throw in
The U.S. leads in every category you can
think of. Overall the score is 325.5 – 218.5
the Red, White and Blue. The U.S. also
holds comfortable edges in every session.
The U.S. even holds a commanding lead in
the foursomes, a format that should suit
the GB&I team. It leads that session 28-
21. The girls of the stars-and-stripes also
the singles by a similar advantage.
Quite why the Ladies Golf Union has
continued to send teams to take a hiding
two years is a reasonable question.
However, the Curtis Cup is a tradition that
needs to be continued out of respect for
Curtis sisters, who donated the trophy
that has found a near permanent home at
USGA headquarters in Far Hills, New
Throw in hopeless optimism, too. Every
two years the LGU announces a team and
sends it off to the match with the usual
team is our strongest, good enough to
win” platitudes. Usually it ends up lauding
teams for their bravery and team spirit,
etc as the girls limp home after yet
There was a brief spell in the late 1980s
and early 1990s when it seemed as if
had finally found parity. The 1986 team
won at Prairie Dunes to break a run of 13
straight losses. Many thought that victory
was a mere a fluke. They were wrong.
GB&I won again in 1988, 1992 and 1996,
with a 9-9 tie in 1994. That’s five of six
matches undefeated. Heady days indeed.
However, it’s just as well the LGU didn’t
build a permanent home for the Curtis Cup
its St. Andrews headquarters after that
run. That 1996 team was the last GB&I
team to lift the cup.
Sixteen years later and the Catastrophe
Cup has returned. We’re back to the good
– bad old if you’re of GB&I persuasion –
days when the U.S. simply turns up and
romps to victory.
So what do you do when the opposition
has greater strength in depth? Surely you
don’t agree to extend the matches to an