Kristen Gillman helps US open big lead in Curtis Cup

Curtis Cup: US thrash Great Britain and Ireland 17-3 to reclaim title

Gillman, the 20-year-old University of Alabama star from Austin, Texas, beat 16-year-old Annabell Fuller 5 and 4 for the winning point to cap a flawless weekend at Quaker Ridge.

But then Gillman and Stephenson stepped in, and Li and Sophia Schubert claimed the final victory of the day 7&5 over Paula Grant and McWilliam.

"I just keep reminding them, stay focused, one shot at a time", said Team USA's Virginia Derby Grimes. The two transitioned nicely into match play with Gillman's 2-0 and Li securing a half point in her morning four-ball match with Kupcho. "Probably even better than we expected".

Play resumes Saturday with a second morning round of fourball matches followed by afternoon foursomes matches. In doing so, Gillman became only the third player after Stacey Lewis (2008) and Bronte Law (2016) to go 5-0-0 in a single Curtis Cup match since the new three-day format was introduced.

"It allowed us to hit our putts fearlessly", Gillman said.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who presided over the 2016 victory, insisted: "We can still do it". Every single one of them can beat every single one of the Americans, and we've got to believe that, and we've got to go out fighting. "Just felt like the trophy was so far away from us, and it wasn't a realistic goal to try and win after how far we were behind". "Everybody contributing and making that point and taking it right down to the last match". Gillman and Vu posted eight birdies and no bogeys in their 4-and-3 victory, helping lead the Americans to an early 2-1 advantage.

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The hosts went on to record a clean sweep in the concluding session, with Aboyne's Shannon McWilliam putting up a good fight before she lost 2&1 to Lauren Stephenson.

The only success for the Great Britain and Ireland team in the foursomes came from Mehaffey and Lamb who beat Galdiano and Lee 3&2 to put the U.S. ahead 4-2 ahead of Saturday's four-ball. Lilia Vu and Jennifer Kupcho defeated GB&I's Alice Hewson and India Clyburn 2 up.

In the other matches, top-ranked Lilia Vu defeated Sophie Lamb 2 up; Jennifer Kupcho, the NCAA individual victor this year for Wake Forest, beat Lily May Humphreys 2 and 1; Andrea Lee edged Alice Hewson 2 and 1; Lauren Stephenson beat Shannon McWilliam 2 and 1; 15-year-old Lucy Li defeated India Clyburn 5 and 4; and Mariel Galdiano held off Paula Grant 1 up. Mehaffey, a Curtis Cup veteran from 2016, and Lamb won the match, 3 and 2, against the USA's Mariel Galdiano and Andrea Lee.

Olivia Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb, Britain & Ireland, def. Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu, United States, 2 and 1.

Gillman's 5&4 win over Annabell Fuller and Lucy Li's victory over India Clyburn, by the same margin, were the standout performances by the strong USA team on the final day.

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