June 10 — World Cup frenzy may be everywhere, but with the American team set to take on Great Britain and Ireland in Curtis Cup golf competition, soccer is not the only U.S.-England rivalry taking shape this week.
- View photos of Curtis Cuppers and U.S. Women’s Open golfers Alexis Thompson, Jennifer Song, Kimberly Kim
Golf phenom Alexis Thompson and reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links (WAPL) champ Jennifer Song will lead the U.S. squad of amateur golfers in the 36th Curtis Cup.
One of the most celebrated amateur tourneys in golf, the biennial Curtis Cup contests pit teams of eight women from the U.S. against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. The three-day contests will take place June 11-June 13 at the historic Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.
Donald Ross lives at Essex. The 2010 version of the Curtis Cup virtually drips with history, with the venue, Essex CC, founded in 1893 as New England’s first nine-hole course. Donald Ross lived and breathed Essex; as head pro from 1910 to 1917, the legendary architect, who redesigned and expanded the layout to 18 holes, walked to work from his home between the 14th tee and second fairway.
Golfweek has ranked Essex as the 63rd best classic course. The track earned its reputation as a stern test of golf, with its combination of New England’s craggy environment, wispy fescue grasses, wide and firm fairways, unique bunkering and drastically disparate greens, and prevailing breezes from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Curtis Cuppers will require a great deal of local knowledge and sound strategies to challenge the course.
Click here to take a virtual tour of each hole.
Curtis sisters. Essex was also the home course for women amateur champs and sisters Harriot and Margaret Curtis, founders of the tourney that bears their name. Friday starts the first Curtis Cup matches at its home course since Essex hosted the third matches in 1938.
Joining 15-year-old Thompson and 20-year-old Song on the U.S. side will be Kimberly Kim. All three golfers will tee it up in next month’s U.S. Women’s Open, with Thompson recently qualifying for her fourth consecutive Open championship (yup, she was 12 when she earned her first Open bid; what were you doing when you were 12?).
Thompson and Song, only the second woman in history to hold win two USGA championships in the same year, will join the LPGA Tour after competing in the Curtis Cup.
The Great Britain/Ireland team will feature Leona and Lisa Maguire, Irish twin sisters. Sally Watson, another member of the 2010 GB/I team, also punched her ticket to the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
The U.S. has won 26 matches, including the last six contests. Team USA has not lost a match at home since 1986.
Curtis Cup facts
Location: Essex County Club, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
Competitors: 8-women teams from the U.S. vs. Great Britain and Ireland squad
Course: Par-70, 6,247 yards
- Thursday: Opening ceremony, 6 p.m.
- Friday: Foursome (alternate-shot) in the morning (9 a.m., 9:10, 9:20), four-ball (better ball) in the afternoon (2 p.m., 2:10, 2:20)
- Saturday: Four-ball matches in morning (8:30 a.m., 8:40, 8:50), foursome matches in afternoon (2:15 p.m., 2:25, 2:35)
- Sunday: Eight singles matches (11:30 a.m., 11:40, 11:50, noon, 12:10 p.m., 12:20, 12:30, 12:40)
TV coverage (Golf Channel):
- Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sunday, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Tickets: $30 per day, $75 for a three-day pass from club or online
Parking: Free, with shuttle-bus service from Cherry Hill Office Park, Beverly
The U.S. Open will take center stage next week. Read about the many New England golfers who will play in the men’s and women’s Open championships.