Meadow turns on the style to end 16-year Curtis drought
Stephanie Meadow produced a sensational display in Nairn yesterday to become the heroine as Great Britain and Ireland regained the Curtis Cup -- 16 years after last winning it at Killarney.
The 20-year-old Alabama University student from Royal Portrush clinched the crucial singles point that gave the hosts a dramatic 10.5 to 9.5 victory.
It was a bittersweet victory for Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, who were due to host the next Curtis Cup in the event of an American victory yesterday. They will now have to wait until 2016 as Great Britain and Ireland will defend the trophy in Missouri in 2014.
After losing all three foursomes on Friday morning, things looked pretty bleak but GB & I stuck to their task and went into the final day of singles just one point adrift -- 6.5 to 5.5.
Meadow, the 2006 Irish girls champion who was runner-up in last year's European Girls Championship, was superb yesterday with the best figures of the day of four-under-par in beating Amy Anderson 4&2.
All-square at the turn, Meadow birdied the 10th to edge ahead and then went two-up when Anderson made a mess of the 13th. A birdie at the 15th put her three ahead and she finished things off at the next.
It was Meadow's third point of the contest from five matches -- the same as achieved by English duo Kelly Tidy and Holly Clyburn. They were the most successful of the home players.
Slieve Russell teenager Leona Maguire did not have the best of times, and playing the anchor role yesterday she was overwhelmed 6&5 by Brooke Pancake, who was the best of the Americans with 3.5 points.
Maguire was three down after five holes and never really got into the game -- and unusually it was another Irish player who was receiving all the plaudits.
The final day of competition got under way with the Olympic Torch arriving on the first tee at Nairn -- it was the ideal send-off.
It was indeed a thrilling day, with fortunes ebbing and flowing. Midway through the singles the top three matches were all level, but the host players pulled clear in all of them to set up a fantastic climax, and it looked for much of the afternoon as though the Meadow battle would be key to the outcome.
Meanwhile, Alan Dunbar finished runner-up in the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy after posting 67 and 68 in the last two rounds for a 72-hole total of 278, nine-under par.
He still found himself a staggering 14 strokes behind runaway winner Dutchman Daan HuIzing whose aggregate of 264 -- 23-under par -- was the lowest in the history over the tournament.
Lucan's Richard O'Donovan closed with a 68 for a 280 aggregate and a share of fourth place.