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Britain-Ireland Keeps Curtis Cup With Win Over Americans

June 22, 1996

KILLARNEY, Ireland (AP) _ The combined Britain-Ireland team retained the Curtis Cup Saturday, beating the United States by five points in the competition for women amateur golfers.

Alison Rose of Scotland, a 28-year-old bank employee playing in her first Curtis Cup, was the heroine. She won all four of her matches in the two-day event and appropriately dropped the clinching putt.

``I am delighted Alison sank the winning putt _ she has been the star of the week.″ Britain-Ireland captain Iva Butler said.

``It has been a fabulous week,″ Rose said. ``It’s beyond my wildest dreams.″

This was the third time in nine months an American team has lost a major international team golf event.

The United States was beaten in both the Ryder and Walker Cups for men. The only one of the four major cups held by the Americans is the Solheim for women pros, which will be played in September in Wales.

Britain-Ireland, which won the Curtis Cup in 1992 and kept in two years ago with a 9-9 tie in the United States, beat the Americans this time 11 1/2 -6 1/2.

The Americans now lead the series 20-6 with three ties, but they have won only one of the last six in a competition that dates back to 1932.

Britain-Ireland all but clinched event on Friday, racking up a 6-3 lead on the strength of winning four of six singles matches across the par-73, 6,258-yard Killeen course at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.

Saturday was the easy part.

The hosts won two of the three morning foursomes for an 8-4 lead and then scored the ninth and clinching point when Rose defeated American Ellen Port 6 and 5.

The Americans were beaten by hard, quick greens, a poor short game, and several Britain-Ireland players who play college golf in the United States _ including Mhairi McKay at Stanford and Janice Moodie at San Jose State. Unlike a decade ago, the Britain-Ireland players are no longer intimidated by the Americans.

``I’ve thought a lot about why we haven’t done well. If I could find an answer we’d be able to solve the problem,″ American captain Martha Lang said.

In Saturday’s foursomes, the Britain-Ireland team of Janice Moodie and Mhairi McKay defeated Kellee Booth and Sarah LeBrun Ingram 3 and 2, and Rose and Lisa Dermott defeated Marla Jemsek and Brenda Corrie-Kuehn 2 and 1.

The only American win came as Port and Kelli Kuehne defeated Julie Hall and Lisa Educate 1-Up to keep the match alive.

In Saturday singles wins for the United States, Cristie Kerr defeated Julie Hall 1-up, and Kellee Booth defeated Karen 3 and 2. The Americans also picked up a half a point as 47-year-old Carol Semple Thompson halved with Mhairi McKay.

Semple Thompson was making her last and American-record ninth appearance in the Curtis Cup.