There are six newcomers to the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup line-up for the 38th transatlantic international contest against the United States at St Louis Country Club, Missouri from June 6 to 8, 2014.
Only two of the winning team at Nairn in June 2012., Stephanie Meadow and Bronte Law, both students at United States colleges, are in the eight-strong line-up this time round.
For Annabel Dimmock, Georgia Hall, Gabriella Cowley, Charlotte Thomas, Eilidh Briggs and Gemma Dryburgh, it will be a completely new experience.
For the first time in the long history of this biennial match, first played at Wentworth in 1932, the GB & I team has been partially chosen through the World Amateur Golf Ranking TM and the LGU Order of Merit.
Dimmock, Hall, Law and Meadow are the leading four eligible players in the WAGRTM and Briggs and Cowley are selected via the LGU Order of Merit table. The LGU Selection Panel's two choices of Dryburgh and Thomas complete the team of eight.
The team will again be captained by Tegwen Matthews who said:
“I am thrilled and excited with this team and genuinely believe it has the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup. Each and every member of this team has fought hard for their place and I know they all have the desire, talent and passion to bring the cup back home.”
Anna Hubbard will return as Team Manager. GB & I's victory at Nairn in 2012 halted a run of seven consecutive victories by the United States. The Nairn contest, which GB & I won by a single point over three days, was the closest since a 9-9 draw in 1994 at the Honors Course, Chattanooga in Tennessee. GB & I, as holders, retained the trophy that year. GB and I's only victory when the Curtis Cup match has been played in America occurred in 1986 at Prairie Dunes, Kansas where GB and I won 13-5.
United States leads the series with 27 wins to GB & I's seven. Three matches have been drawn.
The GB & I team for St Louis, Missouri is:
EILIDH BRIGGS (Kilmacolm) Age 21
GABRIELLA COWLEY (Hanbury Manor) Age 18
ANNABEL DIMMOCK (Wentworth) Age 17
GEMMA DRYBURGH (Beaconsfield) Age 20
GEORGIA HALL (Remedy Oak) Age 18
BRONTE LAW (Bramhall) Age 19
STEPHANIE MEADOW (Royal Portrush) Age 22
CHARLOTTE THOMAS (Singapore) Age 21
Team Captain:TEGWEN MATTHEWS (Wenvoe Castle)
Team Manager:ANNA HUBBARD (Borth & Ynyslas)
GB AND I PLAYER PROFILES
EILIDH BRIGGS (Kilmacolm). A narrow victory from Annabel Dimmock with a sub-par aggregate in the recent Welsh women's open amateur stroke-play championship catapulted Eilidh into Curtis Cup GB and I team contention. A physical education student at Stirling University, Eilidh beat Gemma Dryburgh in the final of the Scottish U18 girls championship in 2011. She won the SLGA Girls' Order of Merit three years in a row from 2009 to 2011. In 2012 Eilidh won the SLGA's Champion of Champions tournament. She has been Renfrewshire county champion three times - 2010, 2011 and 2014. Played for Scotland in the Women's Home Internationals of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
GABRIELLA COWLEY (Hanbury Manor) was runner-up in this year’s Portuguese amateur championship, teamed up with Annabel Dimmock to win the Nations Cup for England at the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play championship, and was eighth in the Welsh open stroke play. She won the England Golf girls’ order of merit for 2013, when her achievements included qualifying for the Women’s British Open, winning the Critchley Salver, representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy, representing England and helping to successfully defend the Girls’ Home Internationals title.
ANNABEL DIMMOCK (Wentworth). Has produced a string of excellent results this year. She won the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play title just over a week ago and followed up as runner-up in last weekend’s Welsh Open Stroke Play. Earlier in the season she won the matchplay Jones Doherty Cup in the USA, where she was also runner-up in the South Atlantic ladies’ amateur. She was runner-up in the Spanish amateur, fifth in the European Nations Cup and won the Sunningdale Foursomes. She is an England international and was a member of the winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals.
GEMMA DRYBURGH (Beaconsfield). Born in Aberdeen in 1993, moved with her family to England in 2002. It was only in 2009 that Gemma decided to take up golf seriously, moving to the IMG Academy in Florida. She has made constant progress since, including the current year’s rise of more than 50 places to No. 52 in the WAGR rankings. In 2011 she joined Tulane University, New Orleans. In the summer of 2012 she was narrowly beaten by Eilidh Briggs in the final of the Scottish U18 girls’ championship. In her second year at Tulane Gemma was eight under par in one of her victories over three rounds. Highlight of her 2013 season was finishing second in the British Stroke Play championship at Prestwick. She has continued to prosper against quality opposition on the US college circuit. In January she finished second, beaten by one shot, in the South American women's amateur championship.
GEORGIA HALL (Parkstone) is the British Ladies’ Amateur Champion and a past winner of the British girls’ title. She shared low-amateur honours at last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, won two gold medals at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup and won the LGU Order of Merit. She was Europe’s number one woman golfer for 2012, has previously represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy.
BRONTE LAW (Bramhall) was a member of the winning GB&I team at the 2012 Curtis Cup. The England international is a student at the University of California and has won on the US women’s college circuit. She has represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy and Europe in both the Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup matches. Bronte won the Cartier Trophy at the 2013 French Lady Junior Championship and was runner-up in the Esmond Trophy the previous year.
STEPHANIE MEADOW. (Royal Portrush) Born in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland and was Irish Under-18 girls champion in 2006 when she was only 14. Since then she has spent most of her life at colleges in America. A winner nine times in her four years on the US college golf circuit as a student at the University of Alabama. She was recently named Southeastern Conference Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Has been ranked within the top 10 of the WAGR for at least three years. She won the British Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in 2012. Gained the winning point for GB and I in the 2012 Curtis Cup match at Nairn.
CHARLOTTE THOMAS. (Singapore) Based in Singapore but makes an annual golfing trip back to England. Last summer she won the English mid-amateur championship, one week after losing a play-off for the English stroke play title. She is a student at the University of Washington in Seattle and has won on the US college circuit. Earlier this season she reached the match play stages of the Australian women’s amateur and tied third in the Lake Macquarie ladies’ championship, also in Australia.