By BOB DENNEY
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Team golf, whether conducted on a televised global stage or in the cozy confines of the Fazio Foothills of Austin, Texas, is the sport’s minute-by-minute drama series.
The inaugural Women’s PGA Cup had its share of compelling vignettes Saturday as a five-member United States team dug deep to hold off Canada and capture a sparkling silver trophy by four strokes, 671-675, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
The 54-hole competition, the first international event for women PGA Professionals, opened with the U.S. owning a 10-stroke advantage only to see that cushion trimmed twice to four. The day closed on a sun-splashed tableau of rolling terrain with Canada and the U.S. dueling on the Foothills’ renowned final four holes.
The Canadians had played the demanding stretch well all week – just a pair of bogeys. So, any celebration for the Americans was on hold until the final fivesome had finished.
“Coming down the stretch, these players fought so hard,” said U.S. Captain Suzy Whaley, president of the PGA of America. “They came out a little slow, but hung in there. They did their jobs. Each one of them had to stay in the process and control only what they could control. They came out victorious, but today was a win for women’s golf.”
Great Britain & Ireland finished third at 698, followed by Australia (715) and Sweden (725).
Brittany Kelly of Indianapolis, Indiana, was the anchor for the U.S., finishing the three days at 2-over-par 218 and earning her team’s collective water spray affection at the 18th green.
Canada was led by Christine Wong (222), while Alison Curdt of Reseda, California (223) provided the necessary “glue” to keep the U.S. in position to win a cup.
“We all needed to stick to our game plan and forget the first two days,” said Kelly, the reigning Indiana Women’s Open Champion. “I had my moments. I always like to keep it interesting. I knew my teammates had my back. This was amazing to represent your country and play with best players in the country. I think that this will grow and would love to see more countries compete.”
The U.S. Team included Seul-Ki Park of Billerica, Massachusetts, and reigning Women’s PGA Stroke Play Champion Joanna Coe of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland. The PGA Assistant PGA Professional at Winchester (Massachusetts) Country Club, Park will be getting married next Sunday in Rowley, Massachusetts, had a 75, and Coe a 77.
The Women’s PGA Cup will be renewed in 2021, with the site to be announced.
SOURCE: PGA of America