GB&I hangs tough with Grant and Mehaffey outstanding

GB&I hangs tough with Grant and Mehaffey outstanding
 Paula Grant, along with the GB&I fans in the gallery, react as her putt dropped into the hole on the 18th hole during Morning Four-Ball Matches of the 2018 Curtis Cup at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. on Friday, June 8, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Paula Grant, along with the GB&I fans in the gallery, react as her putt dropped into the hole on the 18th hole during Morning Four-Ball Matches of the 2018 Curtis Cup at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. on Friday, June 8, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Paula Grant and Olivia Mehaffey were outstanding for Great Britain and Ireland but the United States still holds a 4-2 lead after the first day of the 40th Curtis Cup match at Quaker Ridge. 

The hosts won both the morning fourballs and afternoon foursomes by a 2-1 scoreline to take a two-point lead going into the second day.  

In the morning fourballs, Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb came back from three down with six to play to halve with Jennifer Kupcho and Lucy Li thanks to birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th.

Alice Hewson and Lily May Humphreys lost 4 and 3 to world No 1 Lilia Vu and Kristen Gillman but there were heroics from Grant in the anchor match as she holed a slick downhill birdie putt with Shannon McWilliam to give them a halved match with Lauren Stephenson and Sophia Schubert.

The USA took the foursomes 2-1 with Mehaffey and Lamb beating Mariel Galdiano and Andrea  3 and 2.

However, Alice Hewson and India Clyburn fell by two holes to Kupcho and Vu before Grant and Humphreys went down 4 and 2 to Stephenson and Gillman.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, Captain, Great Britain and Ireland 

“I'm disappointed obviously with the result. I thought in the morning we hit the ball closer to the pin but they holed out for 15-footers. We would hit it to five feet, then they would hit it to 15 feet and they'd hole for the birdie and then we were holing ours for the halve. It was a good fight-back this morning from Olivia Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb and they birdied three of the last four holes. 

 Olivia Mehaffey reacts to a missed birdie putt at the fourth hole during Morning Four-Ball Matches at the 2018 Curtis Cup at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. on Friday, June 8, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Olivia Mehaffey reacts to a missed birdie putt at the fourth hole during Morning Four-Ball Matches at the 2018 Curtis Cup at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. on Friday, June 8, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

“You saw the reverse in the last match when we were leading and then the Americans birdied three of the last four holes. I think the afternoon just got a little bit away from us around the 13th and 14th holes. We lost on the 14th in two of the matches. We won one. In the bottom match, the Americans were six-under-par which is really good scoring for foursomes. I think there were a couple of putts that we didn't make. They made more putts on the day.”

Olivia Mehaffey, Great Britain and Ireland

“We lost the first hole this afternoon and then it was just really relaxing to get two holes back. On the 3rd I holed a really good putt and from then on we felt really comfortable once we got that one hole lead. 

“It didn't really look like changing at any stage once we got that hole back and I think we just got on a nice run and even when we lost a hole, we managed to get one back. It just felt like we were quite comfortable out there with our lead.”

Sophie Lamb, Great Britain and Ireland

“Olivia and I have practised a lot in the last week or so and have been playing together. We're really good friends off the course. 

“This afternoon was more strategic than the fourballs. You have to think ‘okay, where does your partner want it?’ rather than where you want to hit it. We had a few times like that where I was asking ‘where do you want to ball to finish?’ and it seemed to work.”

All eight USA team members played on Friday, while GB&I captain Elaine Farquharson-Black played seven of her eight players. Annabell Fuller, 16, of England, the youngest member of the side, sat out both sessions.

Fuller will be flying home immediately after the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night in order to take her high school final exams. She has finals scheduled for Monday afternoon, Wednesday and Friday. She said all of the finals are science-related.

Holly Clyburn, a two-time GB&I competitor (2010 and 2012), drove up from Galloway Township, N.J. (Atlantic City area) to watch her younger sister, India, play in Friday afternoon’s foursomes session with fellow Englishwoman Alice Hewson. Holly Clyburn, who carded a 3-under 68 in the opening round of the LPGA Tour’s ShopRite Classic on Friday, played on a winning side in 2012 at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland.

Mariel Galdiano, of the USA, took a final exam on Thursday before the Flag-Raising ceremony in Theater 10. She also has a paper due in the class on Monday, and two more finals scheduled next week in Asian-American Studies 187c and Japanese 3.

Having a lead after Day 1 is generally a good omen. Since 2000, the side that has led after the first day has won six times. Two years ago, the teams were tied, 3-3, after Day 1 before GB&I pulled away over the final two days.

What's next?

The two teams will face off again Saturday morning with three Four-Ball Matches before playing three Foursomes matches in the afternoon. Sunday will feature eight singles matches, followed by the closing ceremony.

40th Curtis Cup, Quaker RIdge Golf Club, New York

Detailed scores

Friday

Morning Fourballs 

  • Olivia Mehaffey / Sophie Lamb (GB&I) vs. Jennifer Kupcho / Lucy Li (USA) – Match Halved
  • Alice Hewson / Lily May Humphreys (GB&I) vs. Lilia Vu / Kristen Gillman (USA) – United States win 4&3.
  • Paula Grant / Shannon McWilliam (GB&I) vs. Lauren Stephenson / Sophia Schubert – Match Halved

Afternoon Foursomes

  • Olivia Mehaffey / Sophie Lamb (GB&I) vs. Mariel Galdiano / Andrea Lee (USA) – Great Britain and Ireland win 3&2       
  • Alice Hewson / India Clyburn (GB&I) vs. Jennifer Kupcho / Lilia Vu (USA) – United States win by two holes
  • Paula Grant / Lily May Humphreys (GB&I) vs. Lauren Stephenson / Kristen Gillman – United States win 4&2

Saturday Morning Four-Ball Pairings

  • 9:25 a.m. - Olivia Mehaffey / Sophie Lamb vs. Jennifer Kupcho / Kristen Gillman
  • 9:37 a.m. - Alice Hewson / Annabell Fuller vs. Mariel Galdiano / Lilia Vu
  • 9:49 a.m. Lily May Humphreys / Shannon McWilliam vs. Lucy Li / Andrea Lee