June 12, 2012
TEGWEN Matthews and Amy Boulden were in Curtis Cup heaven last night after helping break the 16-year American stranglehold on the event at Nairn Golf Club.
Matthews, who played in four successive Curtis Cups between 1974 and 1980, saw her Great Britain and Ireland team stage a brilliant last-day surge on the north east coast of Scotland in the singles to turn a one-point deficit into a 10.5-8.5 victory.
And the Royal Porthcawl and Wenvoe Castle golfer witnessed 18-year-old north Walian Amy Boulden epitomise the fighting spirit from her GB&I team as the newly-crowned Scottish Open amateur strokeplay champbattled back from two down after five for a 3&1 success over Emily Tubert in match two.
Further wins from Kelly Tidy, who was three down after six, Holly Clyburn, Charley Hull and the clincher from Stephanie Meadow gave GB&I their first win over America since their 1996 success at Killarney.
The Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Solheim Cup and Curtis Cup all rest on this side of the Atlantic.
The Olympic Torch (unlit) was on the first tee and it really sparked the flame of fighting spirit among Tegwen’s troopers.
In dull, overcast conditions Boulden saw Tubert, a student at Arkansas State University and a player who hit seventh spot in the world amateur rankings, birdie three of the opening five holes for a two-hole lead.
Boulden was able to halve the long second in birdie fours and the Welsh champion fought her way back by winning three holes in a row – a birdie at the ninth, a birdie at the 10th and a par at the 11th putting her one up for the first time.
After her great run Boulden bogeyed both the 12th and 13th, losing the 12th to be pulled back to all square but halving the next.
Boulden was back in the driving seat when she won the 14th with a par three, halved the next in birdie three and was then conceded the 16th to be two up with three to play.
Boulden clinched the spoils with a par at the 17th for a 3&1 victory margin.
The Welsh player was roughly level par at the finish.
Meadow, who is from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, and counts Rory McIlroy among her friends, had the honour of bring the Curtis Cup back to these shores in match seven against Amy Anderson.
Meadow birdied the 10th to go one up and, although she lost the 12th to a birdie, the momentum was with the Alabama University student. She won the 13th on a concession, the 15th with a birdie and clinched a notable 4&2 win at the 16th.