ST. LOUIS – The point Great Britain and Ireland secured on the 18th green did more than boost morale. It assured that Sunday’s singles matches are relevant.
Had Bronte Law and Annabel Dimmock not roared back from 2 down with three holes to play and simply halved their match against Annie Park and Erynne Lee, then a sweep in the afternoon foursomes session would’ve given Team USA the 10 1/2 points need to win.
Instead, GB&I enters the fourth session trailing the U.S. 7-2 at a soft St. Louis Country Club. The afternoon foursomes session was suspended at 3:50 p.m. due to dangerous conditions.
“Hugely courageous, and nothing less than I would expect from Bronte and Annabel quite honestly,” said GB&I captain Tegwen Matthews.
Play was suspended for the first time on Saturday at 11:39 a.m. GB&I headed to the locker room down in all three matches. Law said that despite the deficit, spirits were high because players felt good about their games.
“We some pretty loud rap music going on,” Matthews said, “vibrating in the chest.”
The three-time captain said she didn’t need to give any rousing speeches.
“I’ve got it Teg,” was repeated often.
In the first match out, UCLA’s Alison Lee came out throwing darts, hitting it to 3 feet on the 15th hole shortly after the horn blew to give the Americans a 3-up lead. Lee then struck a hybrid to 6 feet on the par-3 16th and the putt was conceded, giving USA its first point of the day.
“All of us are just playing really well right now,” Lee said. “None of us are struggling in any area. We’ve been ready since we got here on Sunday.”
But it wasn’t all Lee. Kyung Kim, Lee’s partner and friend for nearly 10 years, has been, in the words of U.S. captain Ellen Port, “our steadiest sparkplug.”
While Emma Talley and Mariah Stackhouse paired together for another four-ball victory, the day’s drama unfolded in the second match, the only one to make it to 18.
Erynne Lee and Annie Park, two friends who play for rivals UCLA and USC, respectively, were 3 up through 11 holes. GB&I cut it to 2 holes when play was suspended for the first time on Saturday.
“The rain delay helped us,” Law said. “We came out and the momentum had stopped. We gradually got it shifting in our direction. That’s huge.”
Law shifted into gear when she drained a 30-foot birdie on the 16th hole.
“I fancied a putt,” she said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
An inspired Law proceeded to knock it to 6 feet on the par-4 17th. Meanwhile, Park’s second went long out of bounds. Lee chipped to 8 feet. The Bruin’s par putt circled the hole but stayed out. They walked to the 18th tee all square.
Law hit her approach right and into the gallery. It was up to Dimmock, who faced a 30-footer for birdie to get the team in position. Law, one of only two Curtis Cup veterans in the field, gave the 17-year-old a pep talk before she putted.
“How many times have you been on the putting green and hit these putts?” Law asked her good friend. “No one else is here. No one is watching. Just got stroke the putt.”
Dimmock nestled it up nicely, securing par for her team but leaving Park with a 20-footer for birdie to win the match.
Park’s aggressive try from pin high rolled 5 feet past the hole. She rimmed out her par putt, giving GB&I its first win in three sessions.
“Give absolute full credit to the USA team,” Matthews said. “They are playing very attacking golf. They are sticking an awful lot of shots within six‑foot of the pin, and then holing the putts as well … my hashtag is #needmorebirdies.”