NAIRN, Scotland – The U.S. Curtis Cup team had to pull in an unlikely reserve Friday afternoon in Carol Semple Thompson. The former captain donned an earpiece for afternoon fourballs when current captain Pat Cornett ended up in the hospital.
Cornett was injured in a golf cart accident near the first tee of Nairn Golf Club between the first and second sessions. She was taken to the hospital in nearby Inverness, and was diagnosed with a broken right ankle.
“She’s in good spirits and she’s on her way back,” said Martha Lang, chairman of the USGA women’s committee. Cornett, who was fitted with a cast, is expected to resume captaincy duties for Day 2. The U.S. will enter the day with a 4-2 lead on GB&I.
Despite the way she tells it, Semple Thompson was no figurehead stand-in. She led the U.S. to victory four years ago at the Old Course at St. Andrews, and has played in a record 12 Cups.
“I didn’t do a thing out there except ride the cart,” Semple Thompson said of Friday’s interim duties. She said her main job was only to give advice when players asked for it.
Thompson says she tries to attend the Curtis Cup when possible. Earlier this week, she played in a match consisting of past players. Still, in all her years with the Curtis Cup, this one will stand out.
“This is definitely the most bizarre circumstance I’ve ever seen,” she said.
As for Cornett, team manager Donna Mummert said she wasn’t left in the dark, even in her absence.
“She’s aware the score is 4-2 now, but we didn’t give her updates throughout the day,” Mummert said.