Tue, Aug 01, 2006 - Page 18 News List

US women secure fifth straight Curtis Cup

AP , BANDON, OREGON

US amateur golfer Jennie Lee, back to camera, from Henderson, Nevada, is congratulated on the 16th green by teammates Amanda Blumenherst, left, Jenny Suh, center, and coach Carol Semple Thompson after she won her individual match to clinch their fifth straight Curtis Cup victory in Bandon, Oregon, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

Jennie Lee beat Melissa Reid 3 and 2 to clinch the US' fifth straight Curtis Cup victory, an 11 1/2-6 1/2 decision over Britain and Ireland on Sunday in the biennial amateur women's competition.

Lee halved the 16th hole with her opponent from Derbyshire, England, to give the United States 9 1/2 points and the overall win at Bandon Dunes resort.

Paige Mackenzie defeated Tricia Mangan of Ennis, Ireland, 1-up, and Jane Park downed Tara Delaney of Ireland 3 and 2 for the final point total.

"I heard on the [18th] fairway that Jennie won," said Mackenzie, who was followed by a large gallery wearing "Team Mackenzie" T-shirts. "The most important thing is coming home with the win and giving our team a point, even if it didn't matter."

Britain and Ireland was down 7-2 after the first day, but charged back with 2 1/2 points in the three alternate-shot matches on Sunday morning.

Taylor Leon defeated Naomi Edwards of Yorkshire, England, 5 and 4 in the afternoon to move the Americans closer, but then Martina Gillen of Dublin downed Virginia Derby Grimes, the oldest player on the US team at 42, 3 and 2, and Breanne Loucks of Wales beat Amanda McCurdy 3 and 2.

The wind picked up considerably in the afternoon on the par-71 Pacific Dunes course, carved into sand dunes on the Southern Oregon coast, about a five-hour drive from Portland.

The US team needed just two more points on Sunday to retain the Curtis Cup, but Britain and Ireland came out strong in the morning's alternate-shot foursome matches.

Loucks, the only player from Wales on her team, was paired with friend Reid. Despite the pressure on their team, Loucks and Reid were loose and relaxed in their 7-and-5 win over Lee and Jenny Suh, 7 and 5.

Park and Leon halved their match against Mangan and Delaney.

Gillen and Edwards edged Mackenzie and Amanda Blumenherst 1-up.

The morning session narrowed the American lead to 7 1/2-4 1/2.

The Americans lead the series 25-3-6.

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