NAIRN, Scotland – Amy Anderson realized the inevitable at No. 12: If the Americans were going to keep the Curtis Cup, she had to win her singles match against Stephanie Meadow.
That kind of news tends to bring on a hand tremor. Anderson, however, remained calm.
“In all honesty, I didn’t feel the pressure here,” she said. For reference, Anderson pulled out her sole U.S. Golf Association victory, which happened three years ago at the U.S. Girls’ Junior. That, she said, was much more nerve-wracking.
Call Anderson the woman of the match for the Americans, even if it didn’t end as grandly as it started. The 19-year-old North Dakota native played every match and took away a 3-2 record. She began the week with three consecutive victories, falling eventually in the final session of fourballs (while paired with Emily Tubert) to Holly Clyburn and Kelly Tidy. Still, Anderson and Brooke Pancake played the anchor positions for the U.S. during Sunday’s singles matches.
“I’m so proud of how Amy fared out there,” U.S. captain Pat Cornett said. “She never gave up and she played really hard.”
As the GB&I points came in all around her, Anderson buckled down in her match against Meadow. She pulled the score back to even when Meadow bogeyed the eighth, but was 2 down again by the 10th.
Things were coming together when Anderson birdied No. 12. She dumped a ball in the fescue right of No. 13 before conceding that hole to Meadow and chunked a chip at No. 14. Meadow three-putted after her, but Anderson ran out of holes.
“She made so many putts I was just never able to get up on her,” Anderson said. “That’s the way it goes, it’s tough to play from behind in these crowds.”
Anderson is the only American who didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championship two weeks prior to the Curtis Cup. She had qualified for the past two as an individual as part of a gradual rewriting of the history books at North Dakota State. Still, a week before meeting her Curtis Cup teammates in Newark to hop a trans-atlantic flight, Anderson was nervous about how things might go.
“I’m kind of at the stage where I don’t know what to practice because I know it’s a lot different,” she said. In the days that followed, Anderson received a crash course in links golf. It seems to have taken, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise – Anderson is the only one of the eight Americans who lives in a cold-weather climate.
There were no tears from Anderson after her loss, just an exhausted smile that proves what anyone around the affable blonde already knows: Anderson left everything on the course.
“It’s an honor,” she said. “I think you have to just keep that in mind.”