SLGA national coach Kevin Craggs says he is ‘absolutely delighted’ to see two Scottish golfers called up to represent Great Britain & Ireland in this year’s Curtis Cup.
Gemma Dryburgh and Eilidh Briggs, pictured above, have been included in eight-strong side that will take on the USA in St Louis at the beginning of next month, where GB&I will attempt to successfully defend the title for the first time in 18 years.
The Scots duo are joined in the Curtis Cup side by five English players – Bronte Law, Gabriella Cowley, Annabel Dimmock, Georgia Hall, and Charlotte Thomas – as well as Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow.
According to Craggs, Dryburgh and Briggs are ‘true assets to Scottish golf’.
“I’m absolutely delighted to see the girls included in the Curtis Cup team,” he told bunkered.co.uk. “They are credit to themselves, their personal coaches, and more than justify their places in the side.”
Craggs admits that he hasn't had a great number of dealings with the US-based Dryburgh but said: “Anytime she has represented Scotland, she has been an exemplary squad member and is a great girl.”
With regard to Briggs, he added: “Eilidh has come right through the SLGA set-up and has been impeccable throughout. She continues to improve year on year and that is largely down to her own determination, her own passion, and her own drive. She deserves all the success she is currently enjoying.”
"I know Eilidh took inspiration from seeing the likes of Carly Booth, Krystle Caithness, and Sally Watson in the Curtis Cup." - Kevin Craggs
The inclusion of the girls will be seen by some as a welcome boost for Scottish golf, particularly following the failure of any of the country’s male golfers to make last year’s Walker Cup side for the first time since 1949.
“It’s not my place to comment on the Walker Cup,” added Craggs. “All I can say is that I’ve always believed in the strength and structure of the programme we’ve provided for the girls in our squads and I’m just delighted to see them succeeding.
“It has to be noted, though, that we have only provided the structure; it has been up to the players themselves to take advantage of it and have the desire within themselves to succeed and become the best they can be.”
Craggs also revealed that he hopes that seeing Dryburgh and Briggs play in the Curtis Cup will serve as inspiration to the next crop of girls coming up through the ranks.
“One of the mantras we continue to try to drum into the players is ‘TEAM: together, everybody achieves more’,” said Craggs. “I know that Eilidh took inspiration from seeing the likes of Carly Booth, Krystle Caithness, and Sally Watson playing in the Curtis Cup, and so I can only hope that seeing Eilidh and Gemma this year will give encouragement to the likes of Connie Jaffrey, Lauren Whyte, Alyson McKechin, Shannon McWilliam, and Kirsty Brodie that they can play in future Curtis Cups."
The 2014 Curtis Cup: Find out more
For more information on the 2014 Curtis Cup, log-on to www.2014curtiscup.com