The victorious 2018 USA Curtis Cup team (USGA)
Though one year behind schedule due to the pandemic, the 41st Curtis Cup begins Thursday at Conwy Golf Club in North Wales and it promises to be well worth the wait, as two talent-ladened rosters made up of the top female amateurs in the world go head-to-head against a spectacular backdrop of one of Britain’s best-preserved medieval towns.
The United States has dominated this event with Great Britain & Ireland, holding a 29-8-3 advantage dating back to the first Curtis Cup match in 1932 at Wentworth Golf Club. However, the two sides have split the last four matches, including a dominating showing by the Americans in 2018 which resulted in a 17-3 whitewashing of GB&I at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club in Scarsdale, NY.
Motivation? Although Annabel Fuller is the only holdover from 2018, the forced cancellation of last year’s event gave GB&I an extra year to stew on their lopsided loss suffered three years ago, while the American side will be looking for their first win on foreign soil since 2008 at the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Both rosters are stacked with players listed prominently on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. The U.S. side features the top two female amateurs in the world in Rose Zhang
and Rachel Heck
, who will be teammates at Stanford in the fall. Zhang won the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur and added a second USGA in July with her victory at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur. Heck, won six times as a freshman at Stanford, including capturing the NCAA Division I Women’s individual championship in May.
Team USA also features U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Jensen Castle
while GB&I counters with Louise Duncan
, a Scot who won the Royal & Ancient Women’s Amateur in June and was in contention at last week’s AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, where she tied for 10th. GB&I teammates Lauren Walsh
and Annabell Fuller
also made the cut.
While Zhang can flash her U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur title, GB&I’s Hannah Darling
of England can proudly display her R&A Girls’ Amateur championship she won just a few weeks ago in Yorkshire, England.
Of the 16 players that combine to make-up each team, 13 either played or are currently playing collegiate golf in the United States including five GB&I team members, Annabell Fuller (Florida), Charlotte Heath (Florida State), Caley McGinty
(Kent State), Lauren Walsh (Wake Forest) and Annabel Wilson
This isn’t the first time the two captains have gone head-to-head. In the 1996 Curtis Cup at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club in the Republic of Ireland, GB&I captain Elaine Ratcliffe took down Sarah Ingram
in singles, 3 and 1, helping GB&I to an 11½ to 6½ victory.
With views of medieval castles, rugged coastline and a long dormant volcano, Conwy Golf Club, known as Caernarvonshire” to the locals, provides a stunning venue for the three-day event which was first held in 1932.
Here’s an in-depth look at the 41st Curtis Cup Match…
Jensen Castle, 20 (West Columbia, S.C. / Kentucky); Rachel Heck, 19 (Memphis, Tenn. / Stanford); Gina Kim, 21 (Durham, N.C. / Duke); Allisen Corpuz, 23 (Kapolei, Haw. / USC grad); Rachel Kuehn, 20 (Asheville, N.C. / Wake Forest); Brooke Matthews, 22 (Rogers, Ark. / Arkansas); Emilia Migliaccio, 22 (Cary, N.C. / Wake Forest grad); Rose Zhang, 18 (Irvine, Calif. / Stanford)
Great Britain & Ireland
Hannah Darling 18 (Broomieknowe, Scotland); Louise Duncan, 21 (West Kilbride, Scotland); Annabell Fuller, 19 (Roehampton, England / Florida); Charlotte Heath, 19 (Huddersfield, England / Florida State); Caley McGinty, 20 (Knowle, England / Kent State); Emily Toy, 23 (Carlyon Bay, England); Lauren Walsh, 20 (Castlewarden, Ireland / Wake Forest); Annabel Wilson, 20 (Lurgan, Ireland / UCLA)
Sarah Ingram is a three-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who also has represented the USA in three Curtis Cups. The Nashville, Tenn., resident won her first Women's Mid-Amateur title in 1991, defeating current USGA Executive Committee member Martha Lang, 6 and 5, at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. She followed that up with titles in 1993 and 1994. Only Meghan Stasi and Ellen Port have won more Women's Mid-Amateur titles (four apiece). Ingram also was the runner-up to Jill McGill in the 1993 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif., falling 1 down in the 36-hole final. Those performances led to selection to the 1992, 1994 and 1996 Curtis Cup Teams. Ingram was a two-time All-American and four-year letter winner at Duke University from 1985-88 and is a member of the Duke University Sports Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. She twice represented the USA in the Women's World Amateur Team Championships, helping the side to victory in 1994 in France. She also was the low amateur in the 1995 U.S. Women's Open at The Broodmoor.
Elaine Ratcliffe, 48, enjoyed a decorated amateur career that included victories in the 1997 Finish Women's Amateur and 1998 English Women's Amateur. Ratcliffe was a member of the victorious 1996 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Team that defeated the USA 11.5-6.5 at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club in the Republic of Ireland. She also represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 1996 Women's World Amateur Team Championship, where the side finished tied for fourth in the Philippines. She also represented England in the European Amateur Team Championships. Ratcliffe turned professional and was named the Ladies European Tour's Rookie of the Year in 1999 but regained her amateur status in 2008. She has since captained England several international matches, including the Ladies Home Internationals and European Amateur Team Championships. She also has twice led a Europe team against Asia-Pacific in the Patsy Hankins Trophy.
Format and Scoring
The Curtis Cup consists of six foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, six four-ball matches and eight singles matches over three days of competition. One point is awarded for each victory, while each team receives a half-point for a tied match. The USA needs 10 points to retain the Cup, while GB&I needs 10.5 points to reclaim it.
Wednesday (Day 1 Foursomes/Four-Balls)
11:30 pm-8:00 am (Golf)
Thursday (Day 1 Foursomes/Four-Balls)
8:00-10:00 am (Peacock)
Thursday, Day 2 (Foursomes/Four-balls)
11:30 pm-8:00 am (Golf)
Friday, Day 2 (Foursomes/Four-balls)
8:00-10:00 am (Peacock)
Saturday, Day 3 (Singles)
1:45-7:30 am (Golf)
All times Pacific
The United States leads the all-time series, 29-8-3, however the two sides have split the last four competitions, each winning on their own soil. Team USA’s last win overseas came in 2008 on the Old Course at St. Andrews, 13-7.
The first Curtis Cup was played in 1932 at Wentworth Golf Club
The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial international women’s amateur golf competition between eight-player teams from the United States of America and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). It consists of six foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, six four-ball matches and eight singles matches over three days of competition. The USGA’s International Team Selection (ITS) Committee selects the USA Team, while the Ladies’ Golf Union selects the GB&I Team.
The first Curtis Cup was held in 1932 at Wentworth Golf Club in England, although its roots can be traced back to 1905, when a group of eight Americans led by Frances Griscom, the 1900 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion, Georgianna Bishop, the 1904 champion, along with Harriot and Margaret Curtis made the trip overseas to play in the British Ladies Open Amateur. Prior to the tournament, the U.S. contingent played their English counterparts in a friendly match in Cromwell, England. Although the USA was soundly defeated, the exhilaration and goodwill established by the match and visit had a profound impact on all of the competitors, especially the Curtis sisters, who donated a silver punch bowl with the inscription, “To stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands.” The cup was first presented in 1927 to give momentum to the competition, but play didn’t begin until 1932, largely because of financial reasons.
About the Conwy Golf Club
Conwy Golf Club lies at the mouth of the Conwy River in northern Wales. It’s flanked by the Conwy Mountain and overlooks the Conwy Estuary along with a long dormant volcano known as the Great Orme. A true links course, Conwy is surrounded by sand dunes and features plenty of undulations, although the green complexed are fairly level. The wind and rough will present stiff challenges for the golfers. The layout will be slightly altered in order to showcase Conwy’s three closing holes. In 2006, the club hosted final qualifying for the Open Championship which was held at nearby Royal Liverpool. Other notable events held at Conwy Golf Club include the 1970 Martini International, the 1983 Ladies British Amateur and the 1990 Home Internationals.
Revisiting the 2018 Curtis Cup
The United States posted an unprecedented 17-3 victory over Great Britain & Ireland at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, NY, sweeping all eight singles matches on Sunday. The margin of victory was the largest in the history of the biennial event, which began in 1932. Two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman of the University of Alabama became just the third Curtis Cup player in history to go 5-0-0 and clinched the victory for the United States with a 5 and 4 win over Annabell Fuller. All eight of the Team USA players notched at least two points, a first in Curtis Cup history.
The 2022 Curtis Cup will be held June 10-12 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. while the 2026 event will be contested at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif., June 12-14. The 2024 site has yet to be determined.
1932: USA 5½, Great Britain & Ireland 3½; Wentworth Golf Club, Wentworth, England
1934: USA 6½, GB&I 2½; Chevy Chase (Md.) Club
1936: USA 4½, GB&I 4½; King's Course, Gleneagles, Scotland
1938: USA 5½, GB&I 3½; Essex County Club, Manchester, Mass.
No Matches held between 1940-46 (World War II)
1948: USA 6½, GB&I 2½; Birkdale (England) Golf Club
1950: USA 7½, GB&I 1½; Country Club of Buffalo, Williamsville, N.Y.
1952: GB&I 5, USA 4; Links of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Muirfield, Scotland
1954: USA 6, GB&I 3; Merion Golf Club (East Course), Ardmore, Pa.
1956: GB&I 5, USA 4; Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich Bay, Kent, England
1958: USA 4½, GB&I 4½; Brae Burn Country Club, West Newton, Mass.
1960: USA 6½, GB&I 2½; Lindrick Golf Club, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
1962: USA 8, GB&I 1; Broadmoor Golf Club, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1964: USA 10½, GB&I 7½; Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Porthcawl, South Wales
1966: USA 13, GB&I 5; Virginia Hot Springs Golf & Tennis Club (Cascades Course), Hot Springs, Va.
1968: USA 10½, GB&I 7½; Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland
1970: USA 11½, GB&I 6½; Brae Burn Country Club, West Newton, Mass.
1972: USA 10, GB&I 8; Western Gailes, Ayrshire, Scotland
1974: USA 13, GB&I 5; San Francisco (Calif.) Golf Club
1976: USA 11½, GB&I 6½; Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club, St. Annes-On-Sea, Lancashire, England
1978: USA 12, GB&I 6; The Apawamis Club, Rye, N.Y.
1980: USA 13, GB&I 5; St. Pierre Golf & Country Club, Chepstow, Gwent, Wales
1982: USA 14½, GB&I 3½; Denver (Colo.) Country Club
1984: USA 9½, GB&I 8½; Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland
1986: GB&I 13, USA 5; Prairie Dunes Country Club, Hutchinson, Kan.
1988: GB&I 11, USA 7; Royal St. George's Golf Club, Sandwich, England
1990: USA 14, GB&I 4; Somerset Hills Golf Club, Bernardsville, N.J.
1992: GB&I 10, USA 8; Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England
1994: USA 9, GB&I 9; The Honors Course, Chattanooga, Tenn.
1996: GB&I 11½, USA 6½; Killarney Golf & Fish Club (Killeen Course), Killarney, Ireland
1998: USA 10, GB&I 8; The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
2000: USA 10, GB&I 8; Ganton Golf Club, North Yorkshire, England
2002: USA 11, GB&I 7; Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh, Pa.
2004: USA 10, GB&I 8; Formby Golf Club, Merseyside, England
2006: USA 11½, GB&I 6½; Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Pacific Dunes Course), Bandon, Ore.
2008: USA 13, GB&I 7; Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland
2010: USA 12½, GB&I 7½; Essex County Club, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
2012: GB&I 10½, USA 9½; The Nairn Golf Club, Nairn, Scotland
2014: USA 13, GB&I 7; St. Louis Country Club, St. Louis, Mo.
2016: GB&I 11½, USA 8½; Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland
2018: USA 17, GB&I 3; Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Scarsdale, N.Y.
The USGA and the Royal and Ancient Club contributed to this report
>> LIVE SCORING