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Golf News: - Posted 31st July 1998

GB & I confident of Curtis Cup victory

Minneapolis - Great Britain and Ireland are confident of retaining the Curtis Cup in Minneapolis - but they know that America have every intention of wresting back the biggest prize in women's amateur golf.

The British and Irish team have notched up only six victories since the inception of the event in 1932, but they have dominated affairs since 1986, having won four, shared one and lost just one.

At the last tournament in Killarney the home team were winners by a convincing 11- 6 margin and plan to emulate that result when this year's event begins tomorrow at The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis.

Three players from the team which won in Ireland are again in the line-up for the two days of competition - Elaine Ratcliffe, Karen Stupples and Alison Rose, at 30 the senior member of the team.

Making debut appearances are Kim Rostron from Clitheroe and Hoylake's Fiona Brown - both 24 years old - Rebecca Hudson, who at 19 is the youngest in the side - Scotland's Hilary Monaghan and Becky Morgan from Wales.

The holders are a youthful side compared to the Americans, who have in their team Carole Semple Thompson, a 49-year-old veteran making a record 10th appearance since 1974, and two players in their mid-thirties.

Great Britain and Ireland's captain Ita Butler is confident that her side will "give it their best possible shot".

She said: "I won't predict the outcome but I will say that if anyone makes a slip on the course they will pay the price.

"We have an excellent team spirit. The girls love the course and are all playing well, so we will tackle the match as well prepared as we can possibly be."

Curtis Cup Team