Curtis Cup Memories Rekindled For Gillian
The countdown has begun for the 2012 Curtis Cup Matches at The Nairn Golf Club. The Curtis Cup itself is currently on display for a limited time in the Nairn Golf Club having been brought North by officials from the Ladies Golf Union and the Great Britain and Ireland Team Captain Tegwen Matthews.
During her time in Nairn, Tegwen took the opportunity to link up with her former Curtis Cup teammate and Nairn member Gillian Stewart.
During an outstanding amateur career, which included 3 Scottish Women’s Championship titles, Gillian Stewart twice played in the Curtis Cup Matches. Selected for the first time in 1980 when the match was played at St Pierre, Chepstow, she played for the second time in 1982 in Denver, Colorado.
“Playing in the Curtis Cup was and is the pinnacle of amateur team golf coveted by the players more than any other team event.
I played at a time when the Americans were enjoying huge domination of the event and GB and I had not won since 1956. I think it became a psychological thing – I don’t think we expected to win and lo and behold we didn’t. This turned around in the mid 80’s into the mid 90’s when GB and I enjoyed their greatest ever period of success with 5 wins in 6 matches. The challenge for the team at Nairn in 2012 will be to believe they can win again after another period of American domination – America has won the last 7 matches. After scrutinizing the Nairn honours board, Tegwen did note, however, that it revealed 5 wins out of 5 for GB and I teams, a great start in belief building”
“I played with Tegwen in my first Curtis Cup match. She was the first Welsh player to be selected for a Curtis Cup team making her debut in 1974. She had the experience, having played in the 3 previous matches, and I was the rookie. She piloted me around and although we lost our match it is an experience I will never forget”
“There is one other Curtis Cup experience I won’t forget and it is that I scored my first hole in one the day before the match started in 1980. In 1982 I repeated this trick and scored my second hole in one, again in practice, the day before the match started”
Gillian turned professional in 1985 and joined the Women’s European Tour. She won her first Tournament played as a professional and quickly established herself as one of the stars of the Tour. Her four Tour titles were the pinnacles of a playing career based on an extremely high level of consistency, evidenced by the fact that she still holds the record (79 over a 6 year period) for the most consecutive cuts made.