Although U.S. Curtis Cup captain Barbara McIntire paired
her youngest and, arguably, her most talented, players together
in the opening group of the 30th Curtis Cup Match, it was
those who followed that day that provided the experience -
and inevitably the firepower.
Brenda Corrie Kuehn, who brought in the winning point for
the Americans and brought the Cup back to the United States
for the first time since 1990, recorded a 4-0 record. Teammate
Kellee Booth equaled that feat. Both admitted to having revenge
on their minds.
"It was definitely a mission," said Booth, who, along with
Kuehn, was on the losing side of things in 1996. The Americans
took a twopoint lead after the morning matches of Day 1 and
never let go en route to a 10-8 victory over Great Britain
and Ireland Aug. 1-2 at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis,
McIntire, in her second tour of duty as captain, increased
her record to 2-0. The United States headed into the final
singles matches ahead 7 1/2 - 4 1/2, needing only two points
to clinch the cup.
"To win the Curtis Cup back for America, not for ourselves
but for our country, was really what we had in mind all week,"
said McIntire, a six-time U.S. Curtis Cup team member.
To its credit, Great Britain and Ireland won three of Sunday's
singles matches, and if Kuehn and Booth had not played 1-2,
the ending could have been scripted quite differently.
"After the morning we weren't deflated," said G.B.&I.
captain Ita Butler, who had led her side to victory in 1996.
"We really believed we could do it," she continued. "I thought
we had a great six players out there and it was just really
a matter of a few putts."
Jenny Chuasiriporn, the 1998 U.S Women's Open runner-up,
and Beth Bauer, 1997 U.S. Girls' Junior champion, were paired
in both foursome matches, losing their first, 1 down, and
their second, 2 down. While Bauer carded a solid 5-and-3 win
in singles on Saturday, Chuasiriporn struggled to gain a half
point after being as much as 4 down.
"I think the mechanics were drifting away a little bit,"
said Chuasiriporn. "Beth and I had many chances we should
have taken advantage of.
Virginia Derby Grimes gave the U.S. its first point in the
match when her four-foot par putt on the 352-yard, par-4 16th
hole clinched a 3 and 2 victory in the third foursomes match
of the morning. Grimes paired with Robin Burke for the win,
before the twosome followed with a 2 and 1 victory Sunday.
Grimes, who halved her Sunday singles match, was the only
other player on the U.S. team to not lose a point.
The U.S. team carried the success of Saturday morning's matches
into the afternoon, winning three of six singles matches.
Carol Semple Thompson made her record 10th Curtis Cup appearance
but failed to secure a point during the Match, posting an
0-2 singles record.