Great Britain & Ireland captured the 1996 Curtis Cup Match by defeating the United States, 11 ½- 6 ½ at Ireland's Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, June 21- 22.
Although the United States leads in the series, 20-6-3, this was the third victory in the last four meetings for the GB&I team. The United States won in 1990 but has since lost three straight encounters, twice on foreign soil and once at home, losing the 1994 Math by virtue of a 9-9 tie at The Honors Course, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The 1996 Match marked an American individual record for veteran Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Pa. Thompson was making her record ninth appearance on the U.S. team, having also competed in 1974, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994. It turned out to be, however, a dubious honor as Thompson went winless for the first time in 20 years. She did manage to halve two matches to clinch one point for the U.S.
Alison Rose of Stirling, Scotland, became only the second GB&I player to go 4-0 in the Match. She tied the record set by Trish Johnson in 1986.
GB&I took the lead midway through the first day, although the U.S. staged something of a comeback in the morning matches. At one time, the U.S. trailed in all three foursomes matches, but Americans Ellen Port and Kelli Kuehne finally jumped ahead and won, 2 and 1, while Cristie Kerr and Thompson managed to tie their foursomes encounter for a half point.
GB&I jumped out to a 6-3 lead at the end of the first day's singles matches, winning 4 ½ points in the afternoon. Rose, Karen Stupples, Mhairi McKay, and Janice Moodie all won their matches, while Elaine Ratcliffe tied her match against American Marla Jemsek for a half point. Only Sarah Ingram won a point for the U.S., defeating Julie Hall, 4 and 2.
GB&I got off to a quick start in foursomes the morning of the second day. Moodie and McKay defeated Ingram and Kellee Booth, while Rose and Lisa Dermont edged Jemsek and Brenda Corrie- Kuehn, 2 and 1. The American team of Port and Kelli Kuehne defeated Hall and Lisa Educate, 1 up, but GB&I led, 8-4, going into the afternoon singles matches.
The outcome of the Match was decided in the fourth singles encounter, when Rose halved the 13th hole in her match with Ellen Port to win, 6 and 5, and capture the winning point.
Kellee Booth, a junior from Arizona State University, won her second singles match to earn a point for the American side. Her mother, Jane Bastanchury Booth, played for the United States in 1970, 1972, and 1974.
Hall, of GB&I, in her fifth and final Curtis Cup Match, went winless in four matches.