The USGA’s International Team Selection Committee has chosen a 12-woman group for an initial Curtis Cup practice session next month, creating the first real picture of who might represent the U.S. when the matches are played in Wales next summer.
The Americans are coming off a lopsided victory over Great Britain and Ireland in 2018, but only one player on that team could potentially return. UCLA senior Mariel Galdiano, now 21, could potentially take her third turn on the U.S. team after compiling a 4-3 record over the last two matches.
Among the seven other women who played alongside Galdiano at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York, a year and a half ago, six have turned professional. Andrea Lee, who earned her LPGA card at Q-Series earlier this month, remains in limbo on her status, but turned down an invitation to the practice session citing plans to turn professional before the matches.
The following 12 players have accepted invitations to the session, which will take place Dec. 15-17 at Loblolly in Hobe Sound, Florida:
- Allisen Corpuz, 21, of Honolulu, Hawaii (USC)
- Mariel Galdiano, 21, of Pearl City, Hawaii (UCLA)
- Lauren Greenlief, 29, of Ashburn, Virginia
- Lauren Hartlage, 21, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky (Louisville)
- Auston Kim, 19, of St. Augustine, Florida (Vanderbilt)
- Gina Kim, 19, of Durham, North Carolina (Duke)
- Emilia Migliaccio, 20, of Cary, North Carolina (Wake Forest)
- Alexa Pano, 15, of Lake Worth, Florida
- Kaitlyn Papp, 21, of Austin, Texas (Texas)
- Aneka Seumanutafa, 19, of Emmitsburg, Maryland (Ohio State)
- Natalie Srinivasan, 21, of Spartanburg, South Carolina (Furman)
- Rose Zhang, 16, of Irvine, California
Five teenagers in the group
Among the 12 women are five teenagers, the youngest of them being Alexa Pano. The 15-year-old played the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last spring as a 14-year-old, and spent the majority of the year bouncing from junior to amateur to pro starts and back.
Nine of the 12 players are current collegians. Only Pano and Zhang – who has committed to play for Stanford beginning in 2021 – fall on the low side of that mark. Lauren Greenlief fits into the graduate category. Greenlief won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and took a leave of absence from her job for much of the past year to focus on playing competitively. She climbed to No. 136 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking in that time.
Greenlief, who played her way to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, would be the first mid-amateur to make a U.S. Curtis Cup team since Meghan Stasi in 2008, should she be selected.
Veteran Curtis Cupper will be captain
The Americans will be captained by Sarah Ingram, a three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion who also appeared as a player in three Curtis Cups.
“The talent level surrounding women’s amateur golf in this country is incredible, and I’m so excited to bring these 12 impressive players together for this practice session,” Ingram said. “My experience participating in three Curtis Cup Matches both fueled my competitive nature and formed lasting relationships. I am eager to help guide and be a part of that journey for a new group of young women.”
Invitation to the Curtis Cup practice session does not guarantee selection to the eight-player U.S. team that will compete in June. Players not invited can also still be considered for inclusion on the team.
Automatic qualifying spots are reserved for the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion – though Gabi Ruffels, as an Australian, is not eligible – and the Mark McCormack Medal winner – though Andrea Lee, of course, declined hers.
The USGA will automatically select the top three American players in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking on April 8, 2020. The remainder of the team will be selected the following week.