An initial Great Britain and Ireland squad of 14 players has been announced by The R&A ahead of next year’s Curtis Cup Match at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.
The 40th Curtis Cup Match is scheduled to be contested from June 8-10 with GB&I attempting to retain the historic trophy after an 11½-8½ win over the USA at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in the Republic of Ireland last year.
Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said, “We have identified a talented group of golfers, including three members of the winning 2016 Curtis Cup team. Each player in the squad is in contention for selection to the team and we will be monitoring their performances and results closely over the coming months.
“We will also be closely following the performances of other players not named in this squad who still have the opportunity to play their way into our thinking before the final team selection is made in April.”
Leona Maguire, currently No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™, leads a group from Ireland which also includes Paula Grant, a former R&A Foundation scholar, Olivia Mehaffey, a 2016 team member, and Annabel Wilson. Maguire won the 2017 Ladies British Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig, while Mehaffey had wins in the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship and Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship in 2016.
Both Maguire (Duke University) and Mehaffey (Arizona State University) play collegiately in the U.S., with the former winning the 2017 Annika Award for being the country’s top player. Maguire also won the Mark H. McCormack Medal for a third consecutive year last fall for being the leading female player in the WAGR.
Lily May Humphreys, who won the Girls British Open Amateur Championship at Enville earlier this year, headlines a strong English contingent of eight players. Alice Hewson, who plays at Clemson University, is in contention to make her second Curtis Cup appearance after playing on the winning GB&I side in 2016, and Sophie Lamb, who finished as the leading amateur in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns to win the Smyth Salver, is also included.
Shannon McWilliam and Connie Jaffrey are the two Scottish players on the squad. A former Scottish Ladies Order of Merit winner in 2015, McWilliam finished runner-up in both the Helen Holm Championship and the Scottish Girls Open Championship this year. Jaffrey attends Kansas State University and owns three collegiate victories, while also triumphing in the 2017 Scottish Ladies Amateur Championship.
The GB&I squad:
Emma Allen, 20, England
Lianna Bailey, 21, England
India Clyburn, 21, England
Annabell Fuller, 15, England
Paula Grant, 24, Republic of Ireland
Alice Hewson, 20, England
Lila May Humphreys, 15, England
Connie Jaffrey, 21, Scotland
Sophie Lamb, 20, England
Leona Maguire, 23, Republic of Ireland
Shannon McWilliam, 18, Scotland
Olivia Mehaffey, 20, Northern Ireland
Isobel Wardle, 17, England
Annabel Wilson, 16, Republic of Ireland
The final eight player GB&I team will be announced on April 26, and will include the two highest-ranked golfers in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ on April 25. In addition, six players will be selected by The R&A Women’s Selection Committee. Four non-travelling reserves will also be announced.