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Carnoustie Experience Drives Curtis Cup Bid

Three members of Great Britain and Ireland’s Curtis Cup team believe the experiences they enjoyed at the AIG Women’s Open have boosted confidence for this week’s Conwy contest.

Louise Duncan, Annabell Fuller and Lauren Walsh all savoured successful weeks at Carnoustie, earning their places in the international field and going on to make the cut.

Duncan, 21, thrilled the home crowds on her first major appearance to win the prestigious Smyth Salver for leading amateur at the championship, as the Women’s Amateur winner maintained her superb summer of form.

English player Fuller, 19, and Ireland’s Walsh, 20, also shone over the Angus links as they gained valuable experience in a world-class environment throughout 72 holes.

Carnoustie confidence

“I think it was great for us as amateurs to get through to the weekend at Carnoustie,” said Duncan, the University of Stirling student. “I think it's given us a good bit of confidence going down to the Curtis Cup. It was good for our track records.

“Overall, last week was amazing. It felt a bit surreal. It would be great to watch the footage back and just be able to relive that for the rest of my life. It was great and all the support I had was fantastic. It was good to be able to control my nerves and hit the shots and putts when I needed to.”

Fuller makes her second Curtis Cup appearance after representing Great Britain and Ireland in 2018 at Quaker Ridge, New York. Since then, she has won the 2020 English Women’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and was a member of the victorious England team at this year’s European Ladies’ Team Championship and Home Internationals.

Dream experiences

The University of Florida student admits she is currently living a dream as she prepares to face Team USA in Wales.

“It was one of my dreams to play in the AIG Women’s Open,” said Fuller. “I’ve watched it on TV every single year and to be one of the players in it was amazing. It was great to compare myself to the pros, like playing with Carlota Ciganda in the third round, she plays amazingly, she strikes it nicely. 

“I think I can adjust certain areas of my game and it also worked as motivation that playing in championships like that is what I could have if I keep working hard. Coming into the championship, I just wanted to enjoy it and take the experiences.”

Bidding to help Elaine Ratcliffe’s side win back the trophy at Conwy, she added, “It was useful to play on a links course going to links this week. I can’t wait for Conwy, it’s going to be so much fun. I’m really close to all the girls on the team and they are all lovely girls. 

“I think this year we might have a real chance. I think we have some really good ball strikers and good links players, so maybe that will give us the upper hand against the Americans. It feels like I’m living a dream at the moment, I’m on cloud nine!”

Home goal

Walsh, the highest ranked member of the team at 21 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking®, also hopes to build on the thrill of Carnoustie as Great Britain and Ireland seek a third straight home win in the Curtis Cup.

A sophomore at Wake Forest, she added, “I was hoping to try and make the cut, and just coming into the week I was looking to gain some experience of what the atmosphere is like. It was a really exciting week and I just soaked it all in.

“Heading to the Curtis Cup, it’s another tough, difficult golf course, and  after performing at Carnoustie that's what you're going to have to do to close out a match this week. It's definitely a huge confidence boost and I’m really excited for it.

“We've bonded really well over the last two years as a team and we have a really good group of players. We are all looking forward to it.”

The stage is set for an exciting match as the USA, who have not won on this side of the Atlantic since 2008, bid to retain the Curtis Cup. 

The GB&I team also features Hannah Darling, the recent R&A Girls’ Amateur champion, Charlotte Heath, Caley McGinty, Emily Toy and Annabel Wilson.

Follow all the Curtis Cup action, including the live stream of every shot here.