Five things to know about historic Merion, where Team USA dominated the 42nd Curtis Cup
ARDMORE, Pa. — It was never really close. Sunday’s only drama at the 42nd Curtis Cup centered around which player would win for Team USA.
That turned out to be Rachel Kuehn, who enjoyed the same honor last year in Wales. The United States won every session of every day, beating Great Britain and Ireland, 15.5 to 4.5.
“It’s just an amazing moment,” said Kuehn, whose mother Brenda Corrie Kuehn was waiting at the side of the green with a hug.
Rookie Megha Ganne, who went 3-0, called the week the highlight of her amateur career. She will be a freshman at Stanford in the fall, joining stars Rachel Heck and Rose Zhang.
“It’s been the greatest week of my life,” added fellow rookie Latanna Stone, who stuffed her approach on the iconic 18th to seal her singles win over Charlotte Heath.
Emily Price was the only Team GB&I player to win her singles match.
Rachel Kuehne picks up … again
Team USA players Rose Zhang, left, and Rachel Kuehn hold American flags after winning their matches in singles matches at the 2022 Curtis Cup at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on Sunday, June 12, 2022. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Rachel Kuehn used to worry about trying to step out of her mother’s shadow. After all, mum Brenda was a star at Wake Forest and won the Curtis Cup for Team USA in 1998.
Rachel Kuehn, a rising senior at Wake Forest, has officially surpassed mum. After winning the United States Cup last year in Wales, Kuehn did it again at Merion beating 2nd and 1st Caley McGinty. Rose Zhang picked up the first point for the Americans on Sunday.
“I’m in her shadow now,” a beaming Brenda said, noting her middle child always had to top her.
Rachel plans to spend a fifth year at Wake Forest (her COVID-19 year) to work on an advanced degree, which means she could potentially compete in the 2024 Curtis Cup.
What could top that? Maybe she could play for mom.
Amari Avery impresses
Team USA member Amari Avery takes a practice during a practice round at the 2022 Curtis Cup at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Not so long ago, Amari Avery thought she could turn professional. Instead, she enrolled at USC a semester early and shed tears, winning three times en route to making her first Curtis Cup team. Powerhouse Avery went 4-1-0 in her debut.
“To think that I would have potentially let that go and not have had that experience,” Avery said. “I don’t know what I would do. I mean, because I always wanted to turn pro, and it’s been my dream forever. But I don’t see the point of rushing out. I think he will always be there.
“But that won’t be the case. It goes away at some point, and I was always going to be an amateur. Getting an experience like this, especially with some of my closest friends, is really cool.
More Merion, please.
A view of the Curtis Cup trophy and iconic clubhouse prior to the start of the 2022 Curtis Cup four-ball matches at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on Saturday, June 11, 2022. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Merion holds the record for most USGA championships hosted by a club. The first was the US Women’s Amateur in 1904. The Curtis Cup was held at the historic club for the second time this week, giving Merion now 20 USGA championships.
Next up: US Amateur 2026 and US Open 2030. Future women’s championships include US Women’s Open 2034 and 2046.
“There’s so much history here,” Rachel Kuehn said, “and you watch the US Open on TV and you watch footage of the shots here and the stories that our caddies have for us, just to know that we’re going to be able to add our names to this little piece of history on this amazing golf course and just an amazing tournament. I think it’s something really special and I think we all appreciate it.
Grow the game with time and glitter
Team USA player Rachel Kuehn signs an autograph for fans during singles matches at the 2022 Curtis Cup at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on Sunday, June 12, 2022. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Rachel Heck made it a point to put glitter on the face of every young fan she could find while she sat at the Saturday morning fourball. Heck always has time for the youngsters at events.
Although she didn’t meet any LPGA stars as a young girl, Heck recalls playing a round on a par-3 course in Memphis with a young pro named Haley Millsap and thinking it was was “the coolest thing in the whole world”.
“So of course, playing on this stage, I know I’m just an amateur,” Heck said. “I know I’m a student, but for these little girls, they look up to us so much and I remember what it was like. So it’s up to us to inspire them to set an example because they don’t really know who we are. They see us playing and we have to do what we can with this opportunity.
Next stop: Sunningdale
Karen Stupples waves to the gallery en route to victory in the Weetabix Women’s British Open 2004 at Sunningdale Golf Club. (Photo by Pete Fontaine/WireImage)
The Curtis Cup heads next to Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England, the site of Karen Stupples’ victory at the 2004 Women’s British Open, where she began her final eagle round, double eagle.
Stupples, who has twice appeared in the Curtis Cup, looks like the ideal choice to captain Great Britain and Ireland in 2024. The only catch: R&A rules state that only amateurs can lead the ‘crew.
It seems like the right time to change.
The United States also has a tradition of only allowing amateurs to run the Curtis Cup, but given how few mid-amateurs are on the team these days, they will eventually run into a shortage. options. Not to mention how fun and impactful it would be for young players to rub shoulders with Michelle Wie West, Paula Creamer and Angela Stanford on the road.
2024: Sunningdale Golf Club, Berkshire, England/Dates TBD
2026: Bel-Air Country Club, Los Angeles, CA/June 12-14
2030: National Golf Links of America, South Hampton, New York/June 7-9
2038: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Oregon/Dates TBD