6 Mar 2008

GB & I Curtis Cup Team Announced

Welsh golf star, Breanne Loucks, 20, is to make her second appearance at the Curtis Cup, having been selected today by the Ladies’ Golf Union to play in the biennial match over the historic Old Course, St Andrews from 30 May to 1 June 2008.

Having won all her matches in 2006, the Wrexham player is certainly the most experienced player in the Great Britain and Ireland side. In addition to representing Wales in the Home Internationals in 2007, she represented GB & I in the Vagliano Trophy and Acer Five Nations Tournament. A win at the 2007 Welsh Ladies (Close) Amateur Championship and a joint fourth finish at the 2008 Portuguese Women’s Open Amateur Championship sealed her place:

"I am really happy and obviously very excited. It’s quite a young team so it’ll be good to see how everyone gels together. We have a couple of sessions planned before the event so it’ll be good to get to know the team. About half the team are out in the States most of the time so there are a couple of players I don’t know very well. It’s good to see Krystle (Caithness) in the team as played well together in the foursomes in the Vagliano Trophy."

It’s not been plain sailing for Loucks. She has been suffering with injury but her coach, Paul Williams – regional coach to Golf Union of Wales – has been instrumental to her comeback:

"Everything I have achieved is down to him. We’ve been working on psychology skills and he’s also rebuilt my swing to avoid injury. I had to change my technique as I was injured late last year. I’ve been seeing surgeons and physiotherapists but most of my return was down to him. He’s been extremely supportive. Jeremy Bennett’s also come on board as a national coach in Wales so I am working with him next week. We’re headed to Desert Springs in Spain for Welsh squad training."

Bridgend’s Sahra Hassan – who is looking to turn professional next year - also features as one of four reserves. Wales’ Becky Morgan made the 1998 team who lost to the USA side in Minneapolis. Morgan played again in 2000 at ganton alongside Abergele’s Becky Brewerton.

Mary McKenna, Captain of the GB & I team said; "I am delighted with the team that has been selected. It was no easy task with the quality of the squad being so high. I feel very confident that we can win the Curtis Cup on this historic occasion."

Scotland’s Carly Booth, (15), will become the youngest ever GB & I team member.

This year, a new three-day format of play has been introduced, featuring three foursomes and three four-ball matches on the first two days. All eight players will play singles matches on Sunday to conclude the competition.

The USA team has won the last five Curtis Cup Matches and leads the series by 25 wins to 6 GB & I wins and 3 matches drawn.