Charley Hull selected as Curtis Cup team is named

Charley Hull

England’s world number seven Charley Hull has been selected for the 2012 GB&I Curtis Cup team after a turnaround by the Ladies Golf Union (LGU). She is joined in the team by England internationals Holly Clyburn, Bronte Law and Kelly Tidy while Georgia Hall is a reserve.

British champion Lauren Taylor has not been selected because of doubts about her fitness. She was present, but did not play in the Curtis Cup team trial at Nairn last weekend, having been nursing an injury for some time.

The LGU says that the Woburn player is unable to play full shots at the moment. The Selection Panel felt they could not take a chance on her being 100 per cent fit in time for three days’ play at the highest amateur international level of a Curtis Cup match.

The full team for the biennial match against the USA at Nairn, Scotland, from June 8-10, is:
Amy Boulden (Conwy, Wales), 18
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) 21
Charley Hull (Woburn) 16
Bronte Law (Bramhall) 17
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell, Ireland) 17
Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle, Scotland) 22
Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) 20
Stephanie Meadow (Royal Portrush, Ireland), 20
Reserves: 1 Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell, Ireland) 17
2 Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) 15
3 Becky Harries (Haverfordwest, Wales) 23
4 Kelsey Macdonald (Nairn Dunbar, Scotland) 21

Today’s announcement by the LGU ends weeks of controversy and speculation about whether Charley Hull – the highest ranked European amateur in the world – would be included in the team.

The LGU had said that the 16-year-old England international had made herself unavailable for selection when she withdrew from a team trial to play in this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first women’s Major professional tournament of the year.

Today, the statement on their website says that the “surprise” selection of Charley was confirmed when the Selection Panel overturned its requirement that players must attend the team trial.

The LGU’s original stance prompted widespread criticism and an appeal from England Golf chief executive John Petrie for the LGU to reconsider. He has welcomed their final decision to include the teenager and praised the LGU’s flexibility.

“This is excellent news – it’s good for Charley, it’s good for the Curtis Cup and it’s good for golf. I am delighted that the LGU have shown the necessary flexibility to select her.

“I congratulate the whole team, including the reserves, on their selection. They are all world class golfers and they can now concentrate on preparing for the match and winning the Curtis Cup for Great Britain and Ireland.

GB&I last won the Curtis Cup in 1996 at Killarney. The 2012 team will be captained by Tegwen Matthews and the manager will be Anna Hubbard, both from Wales.

All the English golfers selected as players and reserve were members of England’s winning team at the 2011 Home Internationals.

Charley Hull (Woburn), 16, is the English and Welsh open strokeplay champion. She won the Harder Hall Invitational on Florida’s Orange Blossom Tour in January. She represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup and GB&I in the inaugural Junior Vagliano Trophy. She is currently seventh in the world amateur rankings and has been invited to play in this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship in California.

Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), 21, played in the 2010 Curtis Cup and has also represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy and the Astor Trophy. She is a past English girls’ champion and enjoyed high finishes on this year’s Orange Blossom Tour in Florida.

Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale), 20, was the 2010 British champion and a semi-finalist in 2011. She has previously represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy and the Astor Trophy and represented Europe in both the Junior Solheim and Ryder Cups.

Bronte Law (Bramhall), 17, is the Scottish U16 strokeplay champion and represented GB&I in the Junior Vagliano Trophy. She helped England win a European girls’ silver medal and to win the 2011 girls’ Home Internationals.

Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), 15, is a past winner of the English girls’ U13 and U15 titles. She helped England win a European girls’ silver medal and to win the 2011 girls’ Home Internationals. She represented GB&I in the Junior Vagliano Trophy.