Sally Watson out to stop the rot

SALLY Watson, the sole survivor from the Curtis Cup side at St Andrews two years ago, believes a bonding session in Boston can help Great Britain & Ireland stop the rot in the competition, which gets underway today at the Essex Country Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachussets.

Mary McKenna's team spent a week practising together before arriving at the venue for the 36th staging of the biennial match and Watson, who is flying the Saltire on this occasion with Pamela Pretswell, says that has left them in confident mood despite the odds looking to be stacked against the visitors.

The Americans have won the last six matches and are red-hot favourites once again, but Watson, a Stanford University student who has qualified for next month's US Women's Open, is adamant they will find GB&I a much tougher proposition than some people think.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"What a great idea it was of the LGU to take us all to Boston over a week before the match was starting," said the Scot. "It allowed us to bond as a team, especially since there are a few new faces from last year's Vagliano Trophy team and, apart from me, all new from the last Curtis Cup.

"The team is playing great and our team chemistry is fantastic. We are all having a lot of fun and are ready to win back the Curtis Cup.

"We know that it is going to take our best golf but we have a dream and we are all focused on preparing ourselves to achieve it. The US has a strong team of college and top junior golfers but I know that if we all play our best when it matters we will win.

"This year will be different from St Andrews in many ways but I think that the spirit of the event will be the same – the history of the Old Course v the history of the home of the Curtis sisters. I have played in three USGA events (two US Girls and one US Women's Amateur] and I know how big the USGA make the event with live TV etc. We have plenty of support coming over from GB&I so the atmosphere will be fantastic. I have a strong feeling that our team will respond very well to the atmosphere and use it to our advantage." In addition to the two Scots, that team includes three English players, Hannah Barwood, Holly Clyburn and Rachel Jennings, and an Irish trio of Danielle McVeigh and the 15-year-old Maguire twins, Leona and Lisa.

"Despite being the youngest players ever to represent GB&I, the Maguire twins are showing great maturity and focus in their preparation for the matches, just like the rest of the team, and come Friday I am sure they, along with the rest of the team, will be ready to play their hearts out to bring the Cup home," added Watson.

"The US have a couple of juniors in their team, so I imagine that the average age of the combined GB&I and US teams will be the youngest ever. Age is no barrier to great golf and the age of our team should be an inspiration to all young golfers back in Scotland."

Today and tomorrow sees two sessions of foursomes and fourballs with the closing singles on Sunday.