GB&I prepared for Curtis Cup defence in New York

News & Tour

Great Britain and Ireland will be looking to successfully defend the Curtis Cup as they face the USA this week in New York.

Great Britain and Ireland are all set to begin their defence of the Curtis Cup against the United States at Quaker Ridge Golf Club, New York on Friday.

GB&I, captained by Elaine Farquharson-Black for the second time, will be looking to make history as they try to win on American soil for only the second time since the match’s inception in 1932.

The team arrive in New York fresh off the back of success two years ago, when Farquharson-Black guided the team to an 11.5-8.5 triumph at Dun Laoghaire in Dublin.

“We know that it will be a difficult match and we don’t have the backing of the home crowd as we did in Ireland two years ago but we are confident that we have a strong mix of experienced and talented golfers who are ready to perform in one of the world’s most prestigious amateur golf events,” Farquharson-Black said.

Indeed, the GB&I team will face a tough test. All eight members of the U.S. team are currently ranked inside the world’s top-22 amateurs, and they will be spearheaded by world No.1 Lilia Vu. Sophia Schubert, the current U.S. Amateur Champion, and Lucy Li, the 15-year-old who made history when qualifying for the U.S. Open aged 11, will also be on the team to face GB&I.

Lucy Li, 15, will be making her Curtis Cup debut this week.

Comparatively, the average world ranking of the GB&I team is 82. For Farquharson-Black’s side, this does seem to be a mammoth task, especially to win away from home. But both Olivia Mehaffey and Alice Hewson – who were on the side when GB&I beat the U.S. two years ago – will be making their second appearances this week.

“When I played at Dun Laoghaire two years ago I learned a lot from the players who had already experienced playing in the Curtis Cup,” said Mehaffey.

“I feel that it is now my role to help the younger players by taking them under my wing. It’s a long week and the Curtis Cup is different to other golf tournaments so it’s good to help prepare the new players for what lies ahead.

“I know all the American girls very well but during weeks like this it’s all about spending time with your team and we want to win. It’s going to be a really closely contested match played in good spirit.”

Olivia Mehaffey, 20, will be making her second Curtis Cup appearance.

The two experienced heads could prove to be vital in a team that has an average age of under 20. Annabell Fuller, 15, Lily May Humphreys, 16, and Shannon McWilliam, 18, will all be making their debuts alongside India Clyburn, Paula Grant and Sophie Lamb.

“Playing in the Curtis Cup was one of my goals this year and I am delighted to have been selected for the final team,” said McWilliam.

“I have played with most of the team before, particularly Olivia and Lily, and you just adapt to being in a new team environment quickly. I’m excited to be here and I think it will be a great experience.”

Format

The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial eight-woman amateur team competition between a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland and the United States. It is played over three days with three foursomes and three fourball matches on each of the first two days, and eight singles matches on the final day.

The teams

Great Britain & Ireland

India Clyburn, 21, Woodhall Spa, England

Annabell Fuller, 15, Roehampton, England

Paula Grant, 24, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Alice Hewson, 20, Berkhamsted, England

Lily May Humphreys, 16, Stoke-by-Nayland, England

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, England

Shannon McWilliam, 18, Aboyne, Scotland

Olivia Mehaffey, 20, Royal County Down Ladies, Northern Ireland

USA

Mariel Galdiano, 19, Pearl City, Hawaii

Kristen Gillman, 20, Austin, Texas

Jennifer Kupcho, 20, Westminster, Colorado

Andrea Lee, 19, Hermosa Beach, California

Lucy Li, 15, Redwood Shores, California

Sophia Schubert, 22, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Lauren Stephenson, 20, Lexington, South Carolina

Lilia Vu, 20, Fountain Valley, California

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