Stoke-by-Nayland's Lily May hoping to deliver Curtis Cup success
Lily May Humphreys says she will be doing everything she can to help deliver Great Britain & Ireland’s first Curtis Cup victory on US soil since 1994 when she tees off in Scarsdale, New York today.
The 16-year-old Great Cornard resident admits she still has to pinch herself that she is already participating in what is widely seen as the top event a female amateur golfer can play in.
A member of both Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club, where she trains under teaching professional Roly Hitchcock, and local course Newton Green, Humphreys told the Free Press from the US: “Playing in the Curtis Cup is really special and I’m told it’s the pinnacle of an amateur golfer’s career, so I’m very proud to be doing that at 16 years old. I never would have thought I would be here two years ago.”
Her 2017 campaign saw her awarded England Golf’s Rising Star accolade after winning five championships, taking English, British, European and American titles.
GB & Ireland last won the biennial match, which alternates home advantage, back in 1994 at The Honors Course in Tennessee.
This year’s event takes place at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York and will see the USA team bid to retain the trophy they had to surrender to GB & Ireland following a 11½ to 8½ defeat at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland in 2016.
That side was captained by Scotland’s Elaine Farquharson-Black, who is also leading the team this year with Humphreys set to be part of a new wave of youthful talent added to the squad to give them a new impetus.
And Humphreys says preparations have gone well, despite an initial hitch where she found herself as the only member of the team to make it to their hotel on time, with the rest having suffered from a flight delay.
“The US have an exceptionally strong team and I’m not sure when we last won in the US but we will all do our very best to retain the trophy,” she said.
“Practice has been good we’ve had a coach here for the first five days and practised every day at Fenway GC.
“We had a day off yesterday and went to New York.
“We had a speedboat tour of the sights and went to Tiffanys where we got a specially-made memento each.
“We had our first practice round at Quaker Ridge today.”
She added: “I know most of the team and we all get on really well. The R&A (governing body) team we have with us are really good fun and they have organised the trips out for us so we can get a team bond going.”
Her parents have jetted over to support her, along with two former members of her previous club in Chelmsford which closed down, Channels, which led to her switching to Stoke-by-Nayland and Newton Green.
“My mum and dad are coming over to watch, also two ladies from my previous club in Chelmsford which closed down (Channels) Four ladies from ELCGA are also coming and I don’t know if there any more.”
Essex Ladies’ County Golf Association have also sent a delegation Stateside to support her.