There are four Irish players in the initial Great Britain and Ireland squad of 14 players announced by The R&A ahead of next year’s Curtis Cup match being played at Quaker Ridge, New York.
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell), Olivia Mehaffey (RCD Ladies), Paula Grant (Lisburn) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) all make the squad which will be trimmed to eight players on April 26th 2018.
The final eight will include the two golfers who are placed highest in the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ on 25 April 2018. In addition, a further six players will be selected by The R&A Women’s Selection Committee. Up to four non-travelling reserves will also be announced.
The 40th Curtis Cup match will be played from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 June 2018 with GB&I attempting to retain the historic trophy after an 11½-8½ win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland last year.
Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said, “We have identified a talented group of golfers, including three members of the winning 2016 Curtis Cup team. Each player in the squad is in contention for selection to the team and we will be monitoring their performances and results closely over the coming months.”
“We will also be closely following the performances of other players not named in this squad who still have the opportunity to play their way into our thinking before the final team selection is made in April.”
Lily May Humphreys, who won the Girls British Open Amateur Championship at Enville earlier this year, features in a strong English contingent of eight players. Alice Hewson is in contention to make her second Curtis Cup appearance after playing in the winning GB&I side in 2016 and Sophie Lamb, who finished as leading amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns to win the Smyth Salver, is also included.
Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam and Connie Jaffrey make up the squad. A former Scottish Ladies Order of Merit winner in 2015, McWilliam finished runner-up in both the Helen Holm Championship and the Scottish Girls Open Championship this year. Jaffrey attends Kansas State University and has won three times in US collegiate golf, while also triumphing in the 2017 Scottish Ladies Amateur Championship.
The GB&I provisional squad:
Emma Allen (20, Meon Valley, England)
Connie Jaffrey (21, Troon Ladies, Scotland)
Lianna Bailey (21, Kirby Muxloe, England)
Sophie Lamb (20, Clitheroe, England)
India Clyburn (21, Woodhall Spa, England)
Leona Maguire (23, Slieve Russell, Ireland)
Annabell Fuller (15, Roehampton, England)
Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland)
Paula Grant (24, Lisburn, Ireland)
Olivia Mehaffey (20, Royal County Down Ladies, Ireland)
Alice Hewson (20, Berkhamsted, England)
Isobel Wardle (17, Prestbury, England)
Lily May Humphreys (15, Stoke by Nayland, England)
Annabel Wilson (16, Lurgan, Ireland)