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

Two Scots - Louise Duncan and Hannah Darling - have been selected in the Great Britain & Ireland side for the Curtis Cup at Conwy in North Wales later this month.

Louise Duncan after winning the R&A Womens Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) earlier this year. Picture: Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.
Louise Duncan after winning the R&A Womens Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) earlier this year. Picture: Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

They will join four English players and two Irish players in taking on the US in the event’s 41st edition on 26-28 August.

West Kilbride member Duncan and Broomieknowe player Darling have earned their spots after both secured significant successes this season.

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Duncan won the R&A Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie), becoming the first Scot to land that title since Alison Rose in 1997.

Hannah Darling after winning the St Rule Trophy in St Andrews in June. Picture: St Andrews Links Trust.

Darling, meanwhile, stormed to an impressive three-shot success in the St Rule Trophy in St Andrews.

At 18, she is the youngest player in a team that also includes English quartet Annabell Fuller, Charlotte Heath, Caley McGinty and Emily Toy, as well as Irish duo Lauren Walsh and Annabel Wilson.

“It’s a great honour,” said Darling, who played for Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in 2019. “It’s something I have worked towards and dreamed of for quite a long time.

“When you are a young player in Britain, it’s something you strive for and not many people get to achieve it.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the match is being played more than later than scheduled, with Darling admitting that has probably worked in her favour.

“I think for me the Curtis Cup was a goal last year, but I don’t think I handled that very well,” said the winner of the inaugural R&A Girls’ Under-16 Amateur in 2019. “The first few events I played before Covid hit, I didn’t feel I played as well as I could have.

“So this is almost a second chance to prove myself. I’ve been sticking to my process and not get ahead of myself this year.

“I feel pretty happy with how I have performed and I think it has almost helped the team develop a bit more as well.

“Louise won the British Amaterr and we’ve also got four English players on the team from their European win and that sort of thing can help bring a lot of confidence to our team.”

Elaine Ratcliffe, the GB&I captain, believes the Scots will be strong members of her team as she bids to make it three home wins in a row on this side of the Atlantic in the biennial contest.

“Both of them hit the ball a long way and also strike it beautifully,” said Ratcliffe, who played alongside tartan trio Mhairi McKay, Janice Moodie and Alison Rose on a winning team at Killarney in 1996. “Both have won this season and both are great team players.

“Louise obviously came through at the British and played the most consistent golf of anybody that week to get a wonderful win.

“We have continued to see her grow, playing on the Scottish team in the European Championship.

“Hannah is just Hannah. She is a tremendous golfer and, having got her Highers out of the way, she’s had a great season considering everything she’s been up against.

“Both are a credit to Scotland and I’m delighted that they are playing for us rather than against us.”

A third Scot, Hazel MacGarvie, has been named as a travelling reserve along with Ireland’s Julie McCarthy.

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