Entering singles, U.S. on cusp of Curtis Cup victory

U.S. captain Ellen Port with Mariah Stackhouse (right) and Emma Talley during the morning four-ball match of the 2014 Curtis Cup.

ST. LOUIS –– England’s Georgia Hall thought about the tee shot all night. The par-3 178-yard 16th, the Redan, is no pushover. Mariah Stackhouse thought about it, too. She’s had a tough time with that tee box all week.

The teams returned to St. Louis Country Club at 11 a.m. on Sunday to finish off the last foursomes match of the 38th Curtis Cup. The U.S. carried a 1-up lead through 15 holes when play was suspended on Saturday evening due to darkness.

Great Britain and Ireland, trailing 9-2 and in desperate need of a spark, promptly won the 16th with a two-putt par to pull the match all square. Meadow, the most decorated player on GB&I’s team, drained a 4-foot putt on the 18th hole to halve the match.

Hall, 18, wiped away tears. The two friends played alongside each other all four matches.

“The last few days just trying so hard and not really getting any points on the board,” said Hall. “I’m just really happy.”

That gave Team USA a 9 1/2-2 1/2 lead going into singles play. The U.S. needs to win only one point to capture the Cup.

“The mindset is for us to play like we’re down and for each of us to play like our match depends on that point,” said Stackhouse, a leader on the team.

From tee to green, Meadow said there’s not much that separates the two teams.

It comes down to putting.

“Personally, I’ve made absolutely nothing all week,” said Meadows.

That goes for everyone else, too.

GB&I captain Tegwen Matthews said it’s important to send out first a leader who could light a spark that would reverberate throughout the team. She chose UCLA’s Bronte Law to fill that role, and the UCLA sophomore will face 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Emma Talley in the opening match at 1:13 p.m.

• • •

Sunday singles

(GB&I players listed first; all times local)

  • Bronte Law vs. Emma Talley, 1:13 p.m.
  • Annabel Dimmock vs. Ally McDonald, 1:24 p.m.
  • Georgia Hall vs. Kyung Kim, 1:35 p.m.
  • Gemma Dryburgh vs. Ashlan Ramsey, 1:46 p.m.
  • Charlotte Thomas vs. Erynne Lee, 1:57 p.m.
  • Eilidh Briggs vs. Mariah Stackhouse, 2:08 p.m.
  • Gabriella Cowley vs. Annie Park, 2:19 p.m.
  • Stephanie Meadow vs. Alison Lee, 2:30 p.m.
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