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Women amateurs play international Curtis Cup from June 6-8

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

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USA women amateurs will play against those of Great Britain and Ireland when historic St. Louis Country Club hosts the 38th Curtis Cup Match from from June 6-8.

 

Designed by C.B. Macdonald and then junior engineer Seth Raynor, the SLCC layout features several holes patterned after the classics of the British Isles. Among the SLCC holes: Eden, Redan, Road, Alps, Short, Punch Bowl, Cape, and Biarritz.

 

The Biarritz is unique: it's a long par 3 with a 60-yd. long green with three levels - front and back raised, with a low area in the middle.

 

For a course map, and details on how to play each hole, see the SLCC home page:

http://www.2014curtiscup.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=381597&ssid=299536&vnf=1

 

 

Admission is free

 

Like most USGA-sponsored amateur events, there's no admission fee. See the Curtis Cup site for match details.

http://www.2014curtiscup.com/

 

Look for coverage of live play on the Golf Channel.

 

I'm volunteering, and will try to drop a couple of paragraphs here and there during the event.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

St. Louis is home for both USA women's captain Ellen Port and new USGA president Tom O'Toole.

 

Ellen Port coaches golf at John Burroughs School in St. Louis. (The school is located a mile from St. Louis Country Club.).Although she didn't start playing golf until her 20s, she launched an exemplary amateur career. Port has won six USGA amateur titles, including the Women's 2013 Senior Amateur. Here's a preview clip from last summer:

 

 

 

Tom O'Toole of St. Louis became president of the USGA in February. Prior president Glen D. Nager lasted just two years on the job before being voted out. http://www.golfdigest.com/golfworld/2014-02/usga-tom-o-toole-profile-ron-sirak

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

California figures heavily in the USA Curtis Cup team. Five of eight women play college golf for USC, UCLA or Stanford.

 

The Great Britain & Ireland (GBI) team also has three who play college golf in the U.S.:

  • Bronte Law at UCLA
  • Stephanie Meadow at Alabama
  • Charlotte Thomas at University of Washington

 

Here's the Ladies Golf Union (GB&I) website which carries several stories on the USA and GBI teams.

http://www.lgu.org/EZ/lgu/lgu/Curtis_Cup.php?CShip=162&CPage=news&PHPSESSID=17b356fu8r8l7cl5jgqoh7opn7 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Any St. Louis Archland Golfers going to Curtis Cup?

 

I'm going to be a marshal on Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

 

Let me know if you're coming.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch did this video clip on the greens crew doing course preparation at St. Louis Country Club.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/multimedia/videos/st-louis-country-club-prepares-for-curtis-cup/html_a9dbeb16-1d32-5904-993a-1f60014dae12.html

 

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Curtis Cup opening ceremonies are 6 PM Thursday evening at SLCC.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

St. Louis is supposed to get occasional rain during the tournament. Would this help the GreatB/Ireland team?

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

On Friday afternoon, I served as marshal for a Fourball match. This is alternating shot play by each team – Player A hits the drive, B hits the approach, A chips on, B putts, etc. Lower team score wins the hole. Pairs were:

 

USA:

Erynne Lee, 21, of Silverdale, Wash. (University of California, Los Angeles)
Annie Park, 19, of Levittown, N.Y. (University of Southern California)

         vs.

GBI:

Eilidh Briggs, 21, Scotland (Stirling University)
Gabriella Cowley, 18, England

 

Lee and Park make an interesting team, being that in the Spring they are on opposite sides of the UCLA-USC matches in Pac-12..

 

Notes on Swings

 

  • Lee and Park have very limber swings, with lots of body torque.
  • Briggs has a compact, power swing. If you didn’t know she was from Scotland, you might think she had a softball background.
  • Cowley has a balanced swing with superb tempo – shades of Sam Snead.

Wow Factor - All four players showed excellent ability to hit approach shots off of downhill-uphill-sidehill lies – very few flat spots at St. Louis CC.  The stance adjustments seemed automatic.

 

Trends in the Match

 

  • USA pair hit most of the fairways off the tee. Lots of shot variety going into the greens, solid pitching and chipping. However, some iffy approaches and putts. Twice an approach shot off the fairway came off thin, rolling through the green. One caused a tie on No. 8 – bogies for both sides – after the GBI pair put a drive into the creek. The second ended in a bogie to a GBI par. Also, the USA pair left a lot of putts short – sometimes an inch or two. Reminded me of the Dave Pelz advice: Hit your putt at a speed it will roll 18” past hole – this will defeat a lot of little bumps and dips around the cup.
  • Good points: hit a lot of controlled draws - good for defeating several false fronts on the SLCC greens - and knocked in birdie putts of 50 and 30 feet. Good touch on pitches and chips. Main glitch: control problems off the tee, missed a half dozen fairways. Once they hit a deep bunker of the tee – had to wedge it back to the fairway. Another time they hit a drive into the rough, and ended up in a shoulder-deep cross bunker after a heavy shot out of the fluff.

Final Verdict

 

USA's Lee and Park were 3 UP at the turn, largely due to tee shot trouble by the competition. GBI's Briggs and Cowley rallied and worked their way back to 1 Down. But, GBI had tree and bunker trouble on No. 17, allowing a par by USA to win the match, 2 and 1.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

On Friday afternoon, I served as marshal for a Fourball match. This is alternating shot play by each team – Player A hits the drive, B hits the approach, A chips on, B putts, etc. Lower team score wins the hole. Pairs were:

 

 

 

Heck, I might have seen you on TV...Watched some yesterday, and today. Some pretty good golfers those gals are.

post #9 of 15
Marshalling that must have been fun. You must have some very good young women over there, because that GBI team is pretty talented. I noticed Gabriella Cowley, whom you watched, last year. She was just shy of her 17th birthday and played off +3.
post #10 of 15

Very cool, enjoy!

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Hammer 4 View Post

 

Heck, I might have seen you on TV...Watched some yesterday, and today. Some pretty good golfers those gals are.

I'm proud to say that no chipmunks were harmed on any of the holes I guarded!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

Marshalling that must have been fun. You must have some very good young women over there, because that GBI team is pretty talented. I noticed Gabriella Cowley, whom you watched, last year. She was just shy of her 17th birthday and played off +3.

I met her father in the gallery. He says she grew up in the London area, playing parkland courses... Not much early linksland experience.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Very cool, enjoy!

I am enjoying it. My wife will come with me today. I may volunteer for training as a rules official or a walking scorer - many of the area USGA volunteer regulars are 70 or older.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

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USA has a 9-2 lead as of Saturday evening, with one match wrapping up Sunday morning starting on Hole 16 due to rain delays and darkness. In this match, USA's Stackhouse and McDonald have a 1-up lead over GBI's Meadow and Hall.

 

Today (Sunday) I will serve as hole marshal for one of the eight individual matches (USA golfer vs. GBI golfer) – match play. I should be with about the third group off - we don't learn which group until about 15 minutes before tee-off. I'll have on light-colored cargo shorts, the mid-blue shirt, and wear a black waistpack, if anyone's looking for me.

 

Since each round has just a handful of matches, one marshal team is assigned to each group. You follow them for the entire match. It’s easier work than at the pro tournaments – the crowds are much smaller, and better behaved.

 

Turf Talk - St. Louis Country Club is one of the few area courses which still has bentgrass fairways. Most others have switched to zoysia, due to the tough summer conditions here. The bentgrass fairways feel soft and springy, walking is like getting a foot massage.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Riding a 9½ - 2½ lead going into the final Sunday afternoon single matches, the USA survived a GBI rally and held on for a 13-7 win.

 

Three holes of a match left over from rainy Saturday started the day, ending up in a draw.

 

Starting at 1:13 PM, eight singles matches hit the course.

 

I served as a Group 5 marshal for USA's Erynne Lee against GBI's Charlotte Thomas. Lee's hot and cold short game paved the way for a 2 UP win by Thomas.

 

Lee actually led 1 Up when she put her tee shot four feet past the cup on Par 3 No. 3, and then sank the putt for a birdie. Thomas squared the match on the Par 4 No. 4, putting a hybrid shot over a greenside bunker and biting the ball to a stop three feet from the pin; she sank the putt.

 

Thomas went 1UP with a birdie on No. 6, putting her approach two feet left of the pin and sinking the putt. Lee also hit the green 15 feet above the cup, but left the putt 6" short. The pair halved the next four holes, with Thomas missing four and six-foot birdie putts, and Lee missing a seven-footer.

 

Thomas then went 3 Up by winning two straight with pars as Lee had short game troubles. Thomas parred No. 11, while Lee left her approach 10 yards short of the green, and got an open wedge only halfway to the cup, leading to a bogey 5. On the following par 3, Lee three-putted from 20 feet for a bogie.

 

No. 13, a 549 par 5, provided major drama. Both players had decent drives, and managed to carry fairway woods over the cross bunkers to an uphill plateau fronting the green.Thomas bounced a draw in front of the tight cup, which spun back down to the left fringe. Lee put a cut shot three feet right to the cup.  Thomas then used a bladed sand wedge to skip the ball up the rise and into the cup. Lee sank her putt for a halve, birdies both. The match stayed 3 UP, Thomas.

 

On 15 and 16, Lee rallied with a pair of birdies, sinking putts of 14 and 25 feet. Thomas now only 1 Up.

 

The pair halved the 17 hole, getting pars as each missed 15-foot birdie putts.

 

Lee needed to win No. 18 to tie, and got a good start, landing her drive in the fairway, 25 yards ahead of Thomas' drive which had spun into the rough. Thomas hit a hybrid draw into the sunken green, landing 50 feet short of the cup. Lee landed her shot 25 feet away, but lost the hole with a three-putt.

 

So, Thomas won the match 2 Up. On the afternoon, the matches went GBI 4, USA 3, with one draw.

 

My wife came with me, walking with the gallery. She really enjoyed one of the older courses with the cross-bunkers, blind shots, and sunken greens.

 

That's it from the Curtis Cup!

post #14 of 15

Great report, now I don't have to watch the final...lol

post #15 of 15

Cool report. Emma Talley played for the U.S. team and is a local girl here where I live. Very nice, down to earth young lady, and an unbelievable golf talent. She's a U.S. Amateur champion and currently plays for the Univ. of Alabama. This area is very proud of her.

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