Following Friday morning’s foursomes (alternate-shot) sweep by the United States of America, Great Britain and Ireland battled back with two afternoon four-ball (best-ball) victories, giving the USA a 4-2 lead after the first day of the 2012 Curtis Cup Match at The Nairn Golf Club.
Amy Anderson, 19, of Oxbow, N.D., leads the USA with a 2-0 record, including a victorious four-ball pairing with 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Emily Tubert, 20, of Burbank, Calif., for the USA’s lone afternoon point. The duo combined for seven birdies during the 4-and-3 triumph over Pamela Pretswell, 23, of Scotland, and Charley Hull, 16, of England. Pretswell is one of three GB&I holdovers from the 2010 Match.
Anderson’s birdie on the par-4 15th sealed the match for the Americans, following Pretswell’s birdie attempt that circled the rim of the hole and lipped out.
"We just wanted to keep the momentum [from the morning] going," said Anderson, the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion and a rising senior at North Dakota State University. "Obviously we played so well in the morning and we didn’t want to see that go to waste."
Anderson’s day was highlighted by a superb birdie chip from off the green at the par-4 10th hole to grab a 3-up lead, a shot that received a hearty ovation from the decidedly pro-GB&I gallery.
"There was a lot of putts going in and I chipped one in, so it was a good game," said Anderson, who received Capital One Academic All-American honors on Thursday. "It was a happy day for me."
In the morning’s foursomes round, Anderson and Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif., opened with a birdie at the par-4 first hole and never trailed en route to a 2-and-1 victory over Holly Clyburn, 20, and Bronte Law, 17, both of England.
In the afternoon, Clyburn, one of three returners from the 2010 GB&I Curtis Cup squad, teamed with Kelly Tidy, 20, of England, in a 2-and-1 four-ball victory over the USA’s Brooke Pancake, 22, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Erica Popson, 21, of Davenport, Fla.
Pancake and Popson carried a 1-up lead to the inward nine. However, three bogeys in the ensuing four holes threw the match into GB&I’s favor, despite a bobble from Tidy at the par-4 12th.
"On the back nine, I just played really solid, fairways and greens," said Clyburn, a member of the victorious GB&I Team at the 2011 Astor Trophy. "[It was] crucial going down 12 on my own because Kelly went out of bounds, so I just got my form, walked on and it was good enough at the end of the day."
"The back nine is really tough, especially with the wind, and we kind of lost momentum," said Pancake, who will make her professional debut at next month’s U.S. Women’s Open. "They took it and went with it. They made great par saves and birdies and we just couldn’t get it back."
Lindy Duncan, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., teamed with Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas, for the morning’s quickest victory. The duo took a 6-up lead by the turn against Leona Maguire, 17, of Ireland, and Stephanie Meadow, 20, of Northern Ireland, and held on for a 5-and-4 victory.
The collegiate All-Americans were again paired for the afternoon session, and they built a 2-up lead after seven holes against Law and Amy Boulden, 18, of Wales. However, consecutive conceded holes at Nos. 8 and 9, and a bogey at the ensuing par-5 10th, put the match firmly in GB&I hands.
Only one match on Friday required the full 18 holes. Austin Ernst, 19, of Seneca, S.C., and Pancake trailed for much of their morning foursomes match against Tidy and Boulden. But four GB&I bogeys between the 14th and 17th holes gave Ernst and Pancake a 1-up lead heading to 18. Tidy’s birdie attempt to halve the hole missed, and Pancake was able to calmly tap home her par putt to claim the match for the USA.
The day’s festivities were marred by an unfortunate incident at the beginning of the final four-ball match. USA Captain Pat Cornett sustained a broken right ankle and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Past USA Curtis Cup team member and captain Carol Semple Thompson, in attendance as a supporter, served as interim captain for the afternoon’s matches.
"I was happy to step in for Pat, and I was given the responsibility to be the one to give advice," said Semple Thompson, a veteran player of 12 Curtis Cup Matches and a USA captain in 2006 and 2008. "Of course, the players are so good that they really didn't need advice, nor did they want advice. So I stayed out of their hair."
Cornett has since been released from the hospital and will resume her captain duties on Saturday.
The Curtis Cup continues Saturday with three foursomes matches and three four-ball matches. The Match concludes with eight singles matches on Sunday.
A point is awarded for each victory and a half-point goes to each side for a draw. The USA, winners of the last seven contests in the biennial series, needs 10 points to retain the Cup, while GB&I needs 10.5 points to regain the Cup.
The Curtis Cup Match is conducted by the United States Golf Association and the Ladies Golf Union.
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nairn, Scotland – Results from the first round of foursomes (alternate-shot) matches at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, played Friday morning at the par-72, 6,313-yard The Nairn Golf Club:
Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C., and Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn. (USA) def. Kelly Tidy, England, and Amy Boulden, Wales (GB&I), 1 up
Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.C., and Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA) def. Holly Clyburn, England, and Bronte Law, England (GB&I), 2 and 1
Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas. (USA) def. Leona Maguire, Ireland, and Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland (GB&I), 5 and 4
Nairn, Scotland – Results from the first round of four-ball matches at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, played Friday morning at the par-72, 6,313-yard The Nairn Golf Club (all times GMT):
Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D., and Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (USA) def. Pamela Pretswell, Scotland, and Charley Hull, England (GB&I), 4 and 3
Kelly Tidy, England, and Holly Clyburn, England (GB&I) def. Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Erica Popson, Davenport, Fla. (USA), 2 and 1
Bronte Law, England, and Amy Boulden, Wales (GB&I) def. Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (USA), 3 and 2
Nairn, Scotland – Pairings for Saturday morning’s second round of foursomes matches at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, to be played Friday morning at the par-72, 6,313-yard The Nairn Golf Club (all times GMT):
8 a.m.: Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D., and Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (USA) vs. Pamela Pretswell, Scotland, and Charley Hull, England (GB&I)
8:12 a.m.: Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C., and Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn. (USA) vs. Holly Clyburn, England, and Amy Boulden, Wales (GB&I)
8:24 a.m.: Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (USA) vs. Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland, and Leona Maguire, Ireland (GB&I)