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What looked like a laugher turned into anything but as the United States managed to hold on and win the 2000 Curtis Cup at Canton (England) Golf Club.

The U.S., which hadn't won on foreign soil since 1984, took control on the first day when it rolled up a 7-2 lead. With only nine points required to retain the Cup - the team in possession of the Cup keeps it in the event of a 9-9 tie - it was a virtual certainty that the Americans would win and extend their lead in the series to 22-6-3. But Great Britain and Ireland staged a furious, spirited rally on Sunday, winning six of the nine matches to make the final 108 score closer than the biennial competition actually was.

The United States team was led by Duke University junior Beth Bauer and Stanford University senior Hilary Horneyer, both of whom won three times. By teaming with Bauer to win a firstday foursomes match, Carol Semple Thompson added to two records she'd already owned: playing in her 11th Curtis Cup and winning her 16th match.

In taking its 7-2 lead, the U.S. won two matches at Ganton's difficult par-4 18th with bogeys. In the second of the morning foursomes matches, Becky Brewerton's s approach was well left and well short, and after GB&I needed two more strokes just to reach the green, the U.S. team of Stephanie Keever, a teammate of Homeyer at Stanford, and Angela Stanford managed to escape with a 1-up win. Later that afternoon, with Robin Weiss of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Fiona Brown all square, Brown had a five-foot putt to halve the match but left it six inches short, giving Weiss the victory despite a three-putt bogey of her own.

Great Britain and Ireland's Sunday rally began early as it took control of the first two foursomes matches. Brewerton and Becky Hudson went 5 up after eight holes against Bauer and Thompson, and Emma Duggleby and Suzanne O'Brien went 5 up after five against Keever and Stanford.

The U.S. regained a bit of momentum as Homeyer and Virginia Derby Grimes broke away from an all-square match with wins at three straight holes starting at the 15th. Their 3-and-1 victory was secured at the par-3 17th as Grimes nearly aced the hole and Homeyer knocked in the four-foot birdie putt.

GB&I's comeback continued in the afternoon singles, but Bauer never trailed in defeating Hudson at the closing hole to give the U.S. its all-important ninth point, and Homeyer added to the final margin of victory in the last match on the course when she took the first two holes of the second nine and went on to beat Brewerton, 3 and 2.

Championship Facts

Curtis Cup Match

PAR AND YARDAGE The Old Course at St. Andrews will be set up at 6,638 yards and par is 36-3672.

GOLF COURSE ARCHITECT The Old Course was not designed by an architect but has evolved over six centuries. Golf was first played over the Old Course in the early 1400s.

THE OLD COURSE AT ST. ANDREWS HOLE-BY-HOLE: Total: 6,638 yards, par 72

SCHEDULE OF PLAY On May 30 and May 31 there will be three foursomes and three four-ball matches. On June 1 there will be eight singles matches (18 holes each).

Starting Times
Friday: 8 a.m. for foursomes; 12:15 p.m. for four-balls
Saturday: 8 a.m. for foursomes; 12:15 p.m. for four-balls
Sunday: 10 a.m. for singles

The 2008 Match will be the first year for the three-day format. The four-ball matches will be new to the Curtis Cup.

WHAT IS THE CURTIS CUP MATCH? The Curtis Cup Match is contested by women amateur golfers, one team from the United States of America (USA) and one team from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (GB&I). The teams consist of not more than eight players and a captain. The Match is conducted every two years, alternately in the United States and Great Britain/Ireland.

FOURSOME A match where two players compete against two other players in alternate-shot format, with each side playing just one ball.

FOUR-BALL A match in which two players (side) play their better ball against the better ball of the two other players (side).

SINGLES A match in which one player plays against another.

SCORING A victory in each match scores one point. In the event a match goes 18 holes without a decision, one-half point is awarded to each side.

OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONIES The flag raising ceremony will be held at the Old Course at St. Andrews at 6 p.m. on May 29. The closing ceremony will be held immediately following play Sunday. Both events are open to the public.

ADMISSION For more information about tickets, click here.




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