Scottish pairing, Eilidh Briggs and Gemma Dryburgh are seek to help Great Britain & Ireland secure a win on US soil when the Curtis Cup tees off today.
Kilmacolm’s Briggs, 21, and Dryburgh, 20, are relishing their debuts as the visitors look to build on their 2012 Curtis Cup triumph at Nairn.
Briggs won the SLGA Order of Merit in 2013 and recently claimed the Welsh Open Stroke Play. Dryburgh, who hails from Aberdeen, has impressed on the US college circuit at Tulane University.
"the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup."
The team is again captained by Wales’ Tegwen Matthews, who returns to the role for the third time. Matthews is confident the girls, and the rest of the team, can win in America.
“I’m thrilled and excited with this team and genuinely believe it has the perfect mix to retain the Curtis Cup,” said Matthews.
“Each and every member of this team has fought hard for their place and I know they all have the desire, talent and passion to bring the cup back home.”
Curtis Cup stats
GB&I’s victory at Nairn halted a run of seven consecutive Curtis Cup wins for the United States. GB&I’s only victory when the Curtis Cup has been played in America occurred in 1986 at Prairie Dunes, Kansas, where they triumphed 13-5.
The Nairn contest, which GB & I won by a single point over three days, was the closest since a 9-9 draw in 1994 at the Honors Course, Chattanooga in Tennessee. Overall, the US leads the series with 27 wins to GB & I’s seven. Three matches have been drawn.
This year’s action
This time around the Curtis Cup is being held at St. Louis Country Club, and Matthews knows how important a win in America.
“It's always exciting to win away from home, a lot of people have made a long trip to come follow us, and to win it would be really special.”
"It's the first time I've flown out of the UK with only half my team and the other half already being in America."
Four players on team GB&I play college golf in America, and Matthews is hoping the added experience the girls have of playing in the US will stand them in good stead.
“It's the first time I've flown out of the UK with only half my team and the other half already being in America. So that sort of felt a bit strange, normally you would have all travelled together out of the UK,” she said.
“A lot of us play American golf all the time, and even the ones that are not here in college.
“So a lot of the other ones we played, everybody is comfortable. It's not as big as a factor anymore. I think that's a big advantage that we have compared to years in the past.”
To see the Curtis Cup first round pairings click here.
Pictures: taken from the R&A and Ladies Golf Union.