Hannah Darling and Louise Duncan named in GB&I Curtis Cup squad

Scottish duo Hannah Darling and Louise Duncan have been named in the initial Great Britain & Ireland squad for this year’s Curtis Cup.

They are among 12 players in the frame straight away for the 42nd edition of the biennial event at Merion on 10-12 June.

Darling and Duncan, who are members of Broomieknowe and West Kilbride respectively, are among five six players from last year’s 12.5-7.5 defeat at Conwy in the squad.

They also include England’s Annabel Fuller, who is bidding to make her third appearance against the Americans.

Broomieknowe's Hannah Darling, the world No 9, is currently on course to secure automatic selection for this year's Curtis Cup at Merion. Picture: Scottish Golf

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In contrast, Ireland’s Beth Coulter is among six players looking to play in the match for the first time.

Elaine Ratcliffe, GB&I captain, said: “We have selected a group of very talented players for our Curtis Cup squad and we will be monitoring their form and results over the coming months as we look to select the strongest possible side to play at Merion.

“Despite the result, there were really encouraging signs in the team’s performance at Conwy and, with a number of the players returning to join this year’s squad, there is a strong foundation to build upon as we prepare for the match in June."

Darling, the Girls’ Amateur champion, and Duncan, the Women’s Amateur champion, are gearing up for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.

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West Kilbride's Louise Duncan is aiming to join compatriot Hannah Darling in making a second successive appearance in the event. Picture: Scottish Golf

They are set to be the first Scots to play in the 54-hole event, with the final round taking place at Augusta National.

In addition to the two Scots and Fuller, Ireland’s Lauren Walsh and English duo Charlotte Heath and Caley McGinty also played in last year’s match in Wales.

Bidding to join Coulter in making a first appearance, meanwhile, are England’s Rosie Belsham, Emily Price, Amelia Williamson and Lottie Woald, as well as Ireland’s Anna Foster.

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The top-two GB&I players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking on 21 April - ninth-ranked Darling is currently in the first of those spots - will automatically gain selection to the team with the six remaining players announced on 26 April.

GB&I face a tough task at Merion, having lost 17-3 in the last match on US soil at Quaker Ridge in 2018.

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