Great Britain & Ireland looking to defend Curtis Cup against America in Missouri
The 2014 Curtis Cup match gets underway this Friday with Great Britain & Ireland looking to defend the trophy.
Last Updated: 05/06/14 8:12am
A biennial event between America and GB & I, it pits the best female amateur golfers from both sides of the Atlantic together for three days of competition.
The two teams of eight play three foursomes matches and three fourball matches on the opening two days of competition, before all eight players compete in the Sunday singles.
The competition had become very one-sided in the years preceding the 2012 contest at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland with the US having won the previous seven matches.
Things looked to be following a similar pattern in Scotland as the visiting American team won all three of the opening foursomes encounters and the first fourball clash to open a formidable 4-0 lead.
But the hosts - who counted the precociously talented Charley Hull in their ranks - fought back and, despite also trailing 6-2 at one point, were just a single point down ahead of the singles with the deficit having been reduced to 6½ - 5½.
A remarkable comeback victory was completed when GB & I won five of the eight singles points on offer to reach 10½, Stephanie Meadow claiming the decisive point as she beat Amy Anderson 4&2.
The success breathed new life into the event, restoring a competitive edge and some genuine rivalry after years of US dominance.
However, the latest GB & I side face a true test of character in St Louis with a visiting team from this side of the Atlantic having only once triumphed on American soil, that back in 1986 when Scottish amateur great Belle Robertson inspired a 13-5 win at Prairie Dunes.
After her heroics last time out, Meadow will once again be present and will be expected to play a leading role along with 2012 team-mate Bronte Law.
Their task looks a daunting one, but GB & I skipper Tegwen Matthews - another survivor from 2012 - insists her charges are more than capable of writing their names into the history books.
"I am thrilled and excited with this team and genuinely believe it has the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup," Matthews stated. "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."
GB & Ireland team: Eilidh Briggs, Gabriella Cowley, Annabel Dimmock, Gemma Dryburgh, Georgia Hall, Bronte Law, Stephanie Meadow, Charlotte Thomas (Captain - Tegwen Matthews)
US team: Kyung Kim, Alison Lee, Erynne Lee, Ally McDonald, Annie Park, Ashlan Ramsey, Mariah Stackhouse, Emma Talley (Captain - Ellen Port)
Watch all three days of action live on Sky Sports - coverage starts on Friday at 9pm on Sky Sports 4 HD (on the red button)