- Curtis Cup
The Curtis Cup – or to give the competition its proper title, “The Women’s International Cup” – is a biennial match-play contest between two teams of female amateur golfers from the United States of America and Great Britain & Ireland. Staged alternatively on either side of The Atlantic, this event is organized by the R&A and USGA, with each tournament now played over three days of foursome, four-ball and singles matches.
The first edition of The Curtis Cup was played in one day on the East course at Wentworth in 1932, with three foursomes in the morning and six singles in the afternoon for a total of nine points. These ties were played over 18 holes but some of the later matches were decided over 36 holes. In 1964, it was decided to play two days of morning foresomes and afternoon singles, doubling the points on offer.
Then, in 2008, the format changed to a three-day contest, with all games played over 18 holes. This now means three foursomes and three four-ball matches are played on each of the first two days, followed by eight singles on the final day, giving a total a total of twenty points on offer.
The two teams play for a silver bowl which was presented at the outset of the competition by Harriot and Margaret Curtis, two sisters who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur four times between them from 1906 to 1912. The cup is inscribed: “To stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands” but the intention of women golfers from different countries participating never materialized, unfortunately.
The Curtis Cup, like its male counterpart The Walker Cup, has been dominated right from the start by the United States team, which has won an average three out of every four tournaments that have been played since the inauguration of the competition back in 1932.
The players with most appearances on either team are Mary McKenna from GB&I, winning 12 points from nine outings (1970-1986) and Carole Semple Thompson of the USA, who represented her country twelve times between 1974 and 2002, amassing 20 points in total. The biggest winning margin in the main team event is the 17-3 drubbing inflicted on the visitors by the US at Quaker Ridge, New York in 2018.
Six Royal clubs have hosted The Curtis Cup; Royal Birkdale was the first in 1948 and Royal Liverpool the last in 1992. Three course have held the event twice: Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton Massachusetts (1958, 1970); Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts (1938, 2010); and Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (1952, 1984).
Curtis Cup Top 100 Leaderboard