U.S. opens huge lead at Curtis Cup after morning sweep

USGA/Steven Gibbons

U.S. opens huge lead at Curtis Cup after morning sweep

Amateur

U.S. opens huge lead at Curtis Cup after morning sweep

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Things could get out of hand quickly here at Quaker Ridge Golf Club. Team USA swept the morning four-ball matches at the 40th Curtis Cup, giving the home team a five-point advantage. Not a single match stretched to the 18th hole.

If momentum doesn’t shift in the afternoon foursomes, where typically Great Britain and Ireland shines, Sunday in leafy Scarsdale could turn into a snoozer. The U.S. leads 7-2, with three points up for grabs in the late session.

Jennifer Kupcho and Kristen Gillman found themselves 1 down through 7 holes and had to readjust their strategy. The decorated first-team All-Americans were playing too conservatively.

“In this kind of format you have to go for pins,” said Kupcho. The duo played the next nine holes in 5 under, taking down GB&I’s strongest team, Olivia Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb, 3 and 2.

In the anchor match, 15-year-old Lucy Li partnered with Stanford’s Andrea Lee. The pair, who only practiced together one time prior to Saturday, also poured in five birdies, with Lee converting on Nos. 15 and 16. There’s no question that Li, the youngest player on either team, is having a good time with her enthusiastic celebrations and smiles.

“I think it’s just more fun to get hyped up,” she said.

For UCLA’s Lilia Vu and Mariel Galdiano, Saturday morning was a grind even though they never trailed in their match against Alice Hewson and Annabell Fuller.

“I felt like they were going to make everything,” said Vu. “I felt like we had to get the birdie and move on.”

Both Vu and Gillman are 3-0 for the Americans and will tee it up once again in the afternoon. U.S. captain Virginia Derby Grimes mixed it up in the first three sessions, not repeating a single pairing. This time, however, two of the three foursomes are repeats from Friday: Kupcho/Vu and the Alabama juggernaut of Gillman and Lauren Stephenson.

For only the second time in Curtis Cup history, the same pairing will compete in all four sessions. Mehaffey and Lamb will kick off a session for the fourth time. The pair is 1-1-1. Stephanie Meadow and Georgia Hall did the same in 2014.

• • •

Saturday Afternoon Foursomes

  • 3:50 p.m.: Oliva Mehaffey/Sophie Lamb (GB&I) vs. Jennifer Kupcho/Lilia Vu (U.S.)
  • 4:01 p.m.: Annabell Fuller/India Clyburn (GB&I) vs. Kristen Gillman/Lauren Stephenson (U.S.)
  • 4:12 p.m.: Paula Grant/Shannon McWilliam (GB&I) vs. Lucy Li/Sophia Schubert (U.S.)

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