2004: Singles session again secures Cup for U.S. team

For the second consecutive day, Great Britain & Ireland’s morning momentum halted shortly after lunch.

Two GB&I foursomes, Emma Duggleby/Shelley McKevitt and Anne Laing/Claire Coughlan, continued their foursomes dominance to bring the match to all square at 6 points apiece.

U.S. captain Martha Wilkinson Kirouac’s lone bright spot in the alternate-shot format came from Annie Thurman and Brittany Lang. The college pair became friends off the course when the team was formed, and used that chemistry to fend off England’s Nicola Timmins and Danielle Masters, 5 and 4.

Thurman again held the spotlight in the final singles sessions. After volunteering to take the anchor position on Day 1, the Oklahoma State junior again battled Masters.

While Paula Creamer, Liz Janangelo and Michelle Wie disposed of their opponents to enable the United States to retain the Cup, Thurman wrestled down the stretch at Formby in an attempt to give her team the outright victory. After making the turn 1 down, Thurman brought the match to even with a par on the 14th. A 15-foot birdie on the following hole gave her control of the match for the first time since the par-4 second. She built the lead to 2 up with a two-putt par on the 16th, but gave one back on 17 when Masters converted an 8-foot birdie putt.

On the closing hole both players hit the green in regulation, and after two narrowly missed birdie opportunities, Thurman finished 1 up.

“I wanted her badly on this team because of her match-play skills,” said Kirouac of her only player to score 3 points. “She stepped up to the plate yesterday and asked for the last spot.

If it ain’t broke you don’t fix it.”

GB&I boasted a trio of players who earned 3 points in Duggleby, Laing and Coughlan. But the U.S. team, led by Thurman, Creamer and Wie, proved too much for the home side. The victory marked the first time a squad has lost the match after sweeping the opening foursomes.

– Beth Ann Baldry

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