Leona Maguire, Bronte Law headline 2016 GB&I Curtis Cup team

Leona Maguire
Leona Maguire of Duke (Tracy Wilcox)

Leona Maguire, the world’s top-ranked amateur, will spearhead Great Britain & Ireland’s attempt to win the 2016 Curtis Cup. She is one of three Irish players to make the team, along with five English representatives, including Bronte Law, Golfweek’s top-ranked collegian.

Royal County Down member Olivia Mehaffey joins Maguire along with experienced Maria Dunne as the other Irish players. Alice Hewson, Meghan MacLaren, Rochelle Morris and Charlotte Thomas make up the English contingent along with Law.

Maguire, Law, Hewson and Morris made the team automatically as the four highest players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. MacLaren and Morris were also automatic selections as the highest two players on the Ladies Golf Union order of merit not already selected off the WAGR table. Dunne and Thomas received wild-card picks from the LGU selection panel.

“We have an extremely talented team which has considerable experience of playing amateur golf at the highest level,” GB&I captain Elaine Farquharson-Black said. “I am looking forward to meeting up with the team at the Castle Golf Club to prepare for the match. With some of the best players in the world on both sides, it is going to be a really exciting Curtis Cup.”

Maguire, Law and Thomas all have Curtis Cup experience. Maguire played in 2010 and 2012. Law is making her third consecutive appearance, while Thomas played two years ago.

Maguire has held the World No. 1 spot since May 2015. The Duke player is currently fourth in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. Law’s No. 1 collegiate ranking is helped by her four wins this year for UCLA. She is fourth on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Dunne made her way onto the team with a third-place finish in the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play at Troon last weekend. She played college golf for Bethune-Cookman.

Hewson has won twice since starting at Clemson last year. She is ranked 74th by Golfweek and 36th in the WAGR. MacLaren, ranked No. 41 in the world and 117th in college golf, has racked up eight victories as a Florida International player.

Mehaffey is one of the rising stars of British and Irish golf. The Arizona State commit is currently the world’s ninth best amateur. She won the Scottish and Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play Championships last year en route to topping the LGU order of merit. She won the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play earlier this season and finished second in her defense of the Helen Holm.

Morris has earned a number of high-profile second-place finishes during the last 18 months, including the 2015 English Women’s Amateur Championship and English Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship.

Thomas attends the University of Washington and has won once this season along with six other top-10 finishes. She also won the inaugural ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China.

The United States holds a 28-7 advantage in the biennial match with three draws. This year’s match takes place June 10-12 at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, near Dublin.

• • •

GB&I team

  • Maria Dunne, 32, Ireland
  • Alice Hewson, 18, England
  • Bronte Law, 21, England
  • Meghan MacLaren, 21, England
  • Leona Maguire, 21, Ireland
  • Olivia Mehaffey, 18, Ireland
  • Rochelle Morris, 20, England
  • Charlotte Thomas, 23, England
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