English Dominate Curtis Cup Team
Updated: Aug 10
Anyone remotely paying attention to amateur golf won’t be surprised English golfers dominate the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team. Four English, two Irish and two Scots players make up the team to face the United States at Conwy Golf Club, Wales 26-28th August.
England’s recent success in international team golf, especially last week's Home International victory (pictured), made it the proverbial no brainer team selection for Elaine Ratcliffe and the GB&I selectors. The toughest job would have been which English players to leave out; there are quite a few who could have easily slotted into the team. The selectors could have chosen eight English players and they’d have given the United States a good match later this month, even if the Scots and Irish players bring much to the team.
Fuller is the only team member with Curtis Cup experience. She played in the 2018 match at Quaker Ridge when she was the youngest GB&I player at just 15. She lost all three matches in GB&I’s losing effort, but the 2020 English Women’s Amateur Stroke Play winner is far better player now.
Here is the GB&I team with World Amateur Golf Rankings included:
Hannah Darling, Scotland, 33
Louise Duncan, Scotland, 157
Annabell Fuller, England, 40
Charlotte Heath, England, 52
Caley McGinty, England, 55
Emily Toy, England, 97
Lauren Walsh, Ireland, 24
Annabel Wilson, Ireland, 75
Walsh and Darling were automatic selections as the top two players on the WAGR table. Fuller, Heath, McGinty and Toy were all members of England’s recent victorious European and Home International teams. Fuller and Walsh, and McGinty and Toy are established foursomes pairings Ratcliffe can throw into the action without a second thought. Both pairings were unbeaten in the last week's Home Internationals at Woodhall Spa.
McGinty won all six matches at Woodhall Spa, the only player in the field with a perfect record.
Fuller and Darling are a ready-made pairing too. They successfully partnered together in the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. Darling was Scotland’s top points earner at last week’s Home Internationals, with four wins, one half and just one loss over the three days.
Duncan is the reigning Women’s Amateur champion and was always going to make the team on the basis of the unwritten law in Walker and Curtis Cups that the respective Amateur champions make each team. She and Darling will probably see action together. They were unbeaten as a foursomes pairing last week, winning once and tying their other match.
Walsh and Wilson are an obvious pairing as the Irish representatives. Walsh had two victories in the United States at the end of last year, the Women’s Griffin Amateur and Sunshine State Amateur. Wilson was impressive in winning four matches and losing just two in the Home Internationals. She was top points earner for Ireland, helping her country finish second.
Five of the six players already play college golf – Fuller (Florida), Heath (Florida State), McGinty (Oklahoma State), Walsh (Wake Forest), and Wilson (UCLA) – so facing elite American amateurs should be not faze them. St Rule Trophy winner Darling joins the University of South Carolina after the match.
There are no Welsh players once again. Pity, with the match being played in Wales.
Wales’s highest ranked player is Ffion Tynan at 220th, the only Welsh player in top 500. Wales finished last in the Home Internationals, winning just four and a half points from a total of 27.
You have to go back to 2008 to find the last Welsh Curtis Cup player, when Breanna Loucks made her second consecutive appearance in the biennial match. Wales’s Tegwen Matthews captained the 2012 and 2014 teams, leading GB&I to victory in the former match.
No U.S. team has won away from home since the 2008 match at St Andrews. Hopefully Wales and the links of Conwy Golf Club will prove inspirational to this year’s GB&I team.
#JustSaying: “This is the best thing ever in my whole life. I’m really going to party now.” Tegwen Matthews on winning the 2012 Curtis Cup