Aboyne’s Shannon McWilliam was narrowly defeated in last night’s Curtis Cup singles as the United States won back the women’s amateur team prize.
The 18-year-old lost 2&1 to Lauren Stephenson as the US stretched their overall winning margin over Great Britain and Ireland to a record 17-3, winning every singles match.
The result at Quaker Ridge was in contrast to the 11.5-8.5 victory recorded by GB&I at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland two years ago and marked the Americans’ 29th successful Curtis Cup campaign.
GB&I, captained by Aberdonian Elaine Farquharson-Black, went into yesterday knowing a turnaround was a big ask – they’d been behind since the end of Thursday and the US won five of the six available points in three four-balls and three foursomes on Saturday to build a 9-3 lead. By the end of the competition GB&I had only won two of the 20 matches they played.
Farquharson-Black said: “We’re obviously very disappointed with the scoreline and all you can do is congratulate the United States on their win and the very high standard of golf they have played this week.
“We have played good golf in spells, particularly on the first day, but at this level you have to have more consistency and at times we’ve just not performed as well as we would have liked.
“We have a very young team and the players will have learned lots from this experience which will stand them in good stead for the future. They have given it their all this in this match and I’m very proud of them.”
McWilliam, who picked up half a point on the first day playing with team-mate Paula Grant in her first Curtis Cup – was three down at the turn against Stephenson in the fifth match yesterday, but pars at 12 and 13 were enough to slash Stephenson’s lead to one.
However, Stephenson negotiated a big right to left break to birdie the par four 17th to put herself two up with one to play. The point which confirmed the US’ victory came in the match after McWilliam vs Stephenson, with Kristen Gill beating Annabell Fuller 5&4 with a par on the par three 13th. GB&I can take comfort in the knowledge the US were widely expected to win back the cup. All eight of the Derby Grimes’ women are currently in the top 25 of the world amateur rankings, compared to only Olivia Mehaffey on Farquharson-Black’s side.
McWilliam was the lowest-ranked player at this year’s event. She is 204th.