No magic Curtis Cup send-off for Meadow in Missouri
Stephanie Meadow, the heroine of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup victory at Nairn two years ago will want to forget her final Cup appearance before turning professional as it turned into something of a nightmare in Missouri at the weekend.
The holders were never in contention at St Louis as they lost the first three foursomes and won none of the fourballs on the opening day but secured two halves, meaning a deficit of 5-1 to take into day two.
Going into the closing singles last night they needed nothing short of a miracle to rewrite the record books.
Storms played havoc with the second day on Saturday – the fourballs resulted in a 2-1 win for USA, giving them a 7-2 advantage.
The foursomes were disrupted, with play having to be suspended, and were completed only yesterday before the final session of eight singles.
Meadow, the 2012 British champion from Royal Portrush and the reigning British title-holder Georgia Hall who had collected a half on Friday afternoon, were beaten in the Saturday fourballs.
But in the foursomes, Meadow and Hall fought back on the resumption of play yesterday against Mariah Stackhouse and Ally MacDonald, winning the 16th with a par to a bogey to level matters, having the previous afternoon taken the 15th before play was halted. Halves on 17 and 18 meant a share of the honours.
So USA went into the singles leading 9.5-2-5, requiring just one more point to regain the Cup.
Meanwhile, Gary Hurley produced a steady overall performance to become the top Irishman at the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy.
The West Waterford man opened over the New Course with two under par 69 and followed that up with 73 70 and 72 on the Old Course for a 72-hole aggregate of 284 (three-under-par) to put him in joint 15th place, only six strokes off the pace.
He then finished with a birdie three, but dropped shots on four holes in his closing round which stopped him from making any serious challenge for the title.
Scotsman Grant Forrest won the crown in a sudden-death play-off with fellow countryman Bradley Neil after both finished the 72 holes on 278 – nine under par.
Mourne's Reeve Whitson ended strongly with a 69 to finish on 285 for a share of 20th spot.
Jack Hume from Naas, who had led the early Irish charge with a 67 on Friday, lost his chances with a miserable 76 in yesterday's third round before ending impressively with a 69 for a 286 total and a share of 25th place.