Curtis call for magical Maguires

THE remarkable Maguire twins, Leona and Lisa, from Co Cavan, will create a significant piece of Curtis Cup history when they make their debuts in the bi-annual clash with the US at the Essex Country Club, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachussetts on June 11-13.

The twins are 15 and will become the youngest GB & I golfers to play in a Curtis Cup match.

Carly Booth set the age record when she had her 16th birthday on June 2, the day after the 2008 Curtis Cup match finished at St Andrews. The Maguire girls will not be 16 until November 30 so they have the edge by several months over Carly.

Leona and Lisa previously set an age record when they appeared at the age of 14 in the GB&I team for last summer’s Vagliano Trophy match. The youngest ever player to compete in the Curtis Cup was Michelle Wie, who was 14 when she was a member of the US team at Formby in 2004.

Leona retained the French U21 Girls’ Open title earlier this month. Lisa won both the Irish Open Amateur Stroke Play and the Irish Ladies’ Close Amateur Championship last year and had won the Helen Holm Scottish Ladies’ Open Amateur Stroke Play title in 2008.

Leona beat Lisa in the final of the Irish Ladies’ Close in 2008. The twins helped Ireland win the European Girls’ team title last year and both played for Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup match in America. They were also members of the European team for the Junior Ryder Cup of 2008. They are third year students at Loretto College, Cavan.

And there was more good news for the teenage stars yesterday when, in the company of Rebecca Brady, they secured their third consecutive Irish Schools Senior Cup title for their college at Milltown GC.

With two scores to count from three, Loretto, Cavan won the event by a margin of 27 stableford points from Dublin’s The Teresian School. The twins had just returned home late on Sunday evening following their joint sixth place finish, four shots behind winner Danielle McVeigh (Royal Co. Down Ladies), at the Helen Holm Women’s Scottish Strokeplay in Royal Troon.

It promises to be a big occasion for Irish ladies golf given that McVeigh, 22, is also included for the first time and the great Mary McKenna, who competed in nine Curtis Cup matches between 1970 and 1986 and, in terms of winning singles and foursomes ties, is the most successful GB & I player in Curtis Cup history, captains the side for a second time.

McVeigh’s victory in the ‘Helen Holm’ at Troon on Sunday was her second big win on a Scottish links within a year. She captured the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Stroke Play title at Royal Aberdeen last autumn when she again came with a strong late run. She also won the Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play title in 2009.

She is a member of the Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarship programme at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.

Mary McKenna has been handed a very youthful team with five players still in their teens and McVeigh the oldest at 22. Nevertheless, she believes her squad can give a good account of themselves.

“I am delighted with the team and it is a very good mix of experience and youth“, she said. “They have all played overseas on in America at some time, so that’s a big plus factor as well.”

This will be the 36th Curtis Cup match. United States have won 25, Great Britain & Ireland seven and there have been three drawn matches. GB&I’s last Curtis Cup victory was at Killarney in 1996 when they won 11 ½-6 ½.

Great Britain and Ireland team: Hannah Barwood (Knowle),19; Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) 19; Rachel Jennings (Izaak Walton) 21; Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) 15; Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) 15; Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) 20; Danielle McVeigh (Royal County Down ladies)22; Sally Watson (Elie and Earlsferry Ladies) 18.

Reserves: Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) 19; Stephanie Meadow (Royal Portrush) 18; Charlie Douglass (Brocket Hall) 21; Amy Boulden (Maesdu) 16.

Team captain: Mary McKenna.

Team Manager: Tegwen Matthews.

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CourtsGolfPlace: Co CavanPlace: Essex Country ClubPlace: ManchesterPlace: St AndrewsPlace: USPlace: FormbyPlace: EuropePlace: AmericaPlace: Milltown GCPlace: DublinPlace: Royal TroonPlace: TroonPlace: Royal AberdeenPlace: MaynoothPlace: United StatesPlace: KillarneyPlace: Woodhall SpaPerson: CurtisPerson: MaguiresPerson: MaguirePerson: LeonaPerson: LisaPerson: Carly BoothPerson: CarlyPerson: Michelle WiePerson: Rebecca BradyPerson: Danielle McVeighPerson: McVeighPerson: Mary McKennaPerson: Hannah BarwoodPerson: Holly ClyburnPerson: Rachel JenningsPerson: Izaak WaltonPerson: Leona MaguirePerson: Slieve RussellPerson: Lisa MaguirePerson: Pamela PretswellPerson: Sally WatsonPerson: Kelsey MacDonaldPerson: Nairn DunbarPerson: Stephanie MeadowPerson: Charlie DouglassPerson: Brocket HallPerson: Amy BouldenPerson: Tegwen MatthewsEvent: Curtis CupEvent: Curtis Cup matchEvent: 2008 Curtis CupEvent: Vagliano TrophyEvent: French U21 Girls’ OpenEvent: Irish Open Amateur Stroke PlayEvent: Irish Ladies’ Close Amateur ChampionshipEvent: Helen Holm Scottish Ladies’ Open Amateur Stroke PlayEvent: CloseEvent: Junior Solheim CupEvent: Junior Ryder Cup of 2008Event: Irish Schools Senior CupEvent: Helen Holm Women’s Scottish StrokeplayEvent: British Open Amateur Stroke PlayEvent: Welsh OpenOrganisation: USOrganisation: GB & IOrganisation: GB&IOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: LorettoOrganisation: CavanOrganisation: The Teresian SchoolOrganisation: Royal Co. Down LadiesOrganisation: National University of IrelandOrganisation: Great BritainOrganisation: GBOrganisation: KnowleOrganisation: Royal County DownOrganisation: ElieOrganisation: Earlsferry LadiesOrganisation: Royal Portrush
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