NAIRN, Scotland (AP)
For the first time in the history of golf, all four major professional and amateur men and women’s team trophies are held by Britain, Ireland and Europe after the United States lost the Curtis Cup on Sunday to end its 16-year domination of the event.
GB & I beat the American team 10 1/2 to 9 1/2 despite needing to win five of the eight singles matches on Sunday, with Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland scoring the critical point by beating Amy Anderson.
GB & I and Europe now hold the Curtis Cup, men’s amateur Walker Cup plus the pro Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup titles.
Tegwen Matthews, the GB & I captain, confessed she pushed her team to victory knowing success would create golfing history.
”It is very, very special to have captured golfing history today,” Matthews said. ”I had joked and joked to the team about all the pressure they were under to win this week given that it would mean holding all four main team trophies between GB & I and Europe against the States.
”So that was a challenge for me and it’s just fabulous we’ve won because I am just as competitive as my players in wanting to achieve that goal and we have managed to do that.”
Victory marked only the second time the team won on Scottish soil in the 80-year history of the event.
GB & I got the start it needed by capturing the opening three matches – Kelly Tidy beating Austin Ernst 2 and 1, Amy Boulden beating Emily Tubert 3 and 1 and Holly Clyburn beating Erica Popson 3 and 2.
It put the GB & I side ahead for the first time in the event by 8 1/2 points to 6 1/2 and while they lost the next two matches – Lisa McCloskey beating Pam Pretswell 4 and 3 and Tiffany Lau beating Bronte Law 2 up – the home team sealed victory by winning the next two matches.
England’s 16-year old Charley Hull sent GB & I to 9 1/2 points by defeating Lindy Duncan 5 and 3 before Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow clinched the winning point in defeating Amy Anderson 4 and 2.
No. 4-ranked Leona Maguire of Ireland lost the final singles match 6 and 5 despite a recent run of good form that included a recent eight-shot victory in the Irish U-18 Girls Open Stroke-Play Championship.
United States captain Pat Cornett, with her leg in plaster after a buggy mishap on Friday, confessed she was disappointed in the performance of her side on the final day.
”It was certainly not the result I was looking for,” Cornett said. ”So I am a little disappointed but then the result is good for the game and good for the Curtis Cup.
”Then it just shows how fickle this game can be and I reminded the girls that after all it is just a game.”
Cornett will head home to California where she will undergo an operation on her left ankle after breaking two bones in a freak buggy accident.
Cornett had her leg in plaster for the last two days of competition while her husband, Mike, remains in an Inverness hospital battling cellulitis in his feet.
”It’s now a case of we can’t get out of Dodge City quick enough,” joked Cornett.
Cornett added that she has yet to decide whether she will seek to lead the 2016 U.S. team in St. Louis, Missouri.