Stephanie Meadow and Bronte Law will spearhead Great Britain & Ireland’s Curtis Cup defense after the pair were named to face the United States at St. Louis Country Club on June 6-8. Both played on the victorious 2012 GB&I team at Nairn, Scotland.
The pair made the eight-woman team under a new selection system in which the top four GB&I players on the World Amateur Golf Ranking qualify automatically. Meadow is sixth on the WAGR table. Law stands 46th.
English players Georgia Hall and Annabel Dimmock also were selected from the WAGR list. Hall, the reigning Women’s British Amateur champion, is ranked 11th in the world; Dimmock is 28th.
Scotland’s Eilidh Briggs and England’s Gabriella Cowley earned places as the top two players on the Ladies Golf Union’s Order of Merit not otherwise exempt.
Charlotte Thomas of England and Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland received the two wild-card picks.
“I am thrilled and excited with this team and genuinely believe it has the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup,” GB&I captain Tegwen Matthews said. “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.”
Briggs won the Welsh Ladies Stroke Play Championship by a shot over Dimmock on the weekend to seal her place. Cowley was runner-up in this year’s Portuguese Amateur Championship and topped the 2013 England Golf Girls’ Order of Merit.
Dryburgh plays college golf for Tulane, in New Orleans, where she is in her junior season. Thomas is English but lives in Singapore. She is a sophomore at Washington. Dryburgh made history last season by becoming the first Husky player to win a tournament in her college debut.
Expect Meadow and Law to play in every session in St Louis. They were instrumental in the GB&I victory two years ago. Meadow, an Alabama senior from Northern Ireland, gained the winning point with a 4-and-2 victory over Amy Anderson. Meadow amassed three victories and one loss to help the GB&I cause. She has established a school record for victories (nine) that might not be broken.
In the 2012 matches, Law compiled a 1-1-1 record at Nairn.
Hall was first reserve two years ago and has stalled her professional career to play in the match. She certainly has the pedigree to impress in St. Louis. The English amateur finished low amateur along with Lydia Ko in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at St. Andrews last year.
Dimmock has earned her way onto the team with a string of fine performances this year. The 17-year-old from Wentworth Golf Club, home of the European Tour, won the Jones Doherty Cup on the Orange Blossom Tour in Florida at the start of the year. She was runner-up in the Spanish Amateur Championship and sealed her place by winning the Helen Holm Scottish Stroke Play Championship.
Among those missing spots on the team are Irish twins Leona and Lisa Maguire. Both were unavailable because of a conflict with their high school exams. College players Meghan MacLaren (Florida International), Alison Knowles (Louisiana-Monroe) and Hayley Davis (Baylor), all of England, also were not picked.
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GB&I Curtis Cup team
Eilidh Briggs, 21, Scotland, world ranking: 126
Gabriella Cowley, 18, England, world ranking: 84
Annabel Dimmock, 17, England world ranking: 28
Gemma Dryburgh, 20 Scotland, world ranking: 52
Georgia Hall, 18, England, world ranking: 7
Bronte Law, 19, England, world ranking: 46
Stephanie Meadow, 22, Northern Ireland, world ranking: 6
Charlotte Thomas, 21, Singapore, world ranking: 60