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Ulster duo Grant and Mehaffey all fired up for Curtis Cup quest

 

By Paul Kelly

Ulster and Ireland amateur stars Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) and Paula Grant (Lisburn) have been included in the GB&I team to face the United States in the 40th Curtis Cup, which will be played at Quaker Ridge, New York from June 8-10.

GB&I will defend the famous trophy after securing a win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire two years ago.

An eight-player team and one non-travelling reserve have been selected for the 2018 match-up.

Grant is a former R&A Foundation scholar and last year won the Irish Women's Close Championship for the second time.

"I'm so excited and can't wait to get over there," said Grant. "I made a decision a year or so ago to put more time into my golf and I've worked hard with the ILGU coaches and my own coach at Lisburn, Stephen Hamill. It's nice to get the rewards."

The 24-year-old admitted that watching her Irish international contemporaries Maria Dunne, Leona Maguire and Mehaffey competing at recent Curtis Cups had provided extra incentive.

"When I saw how well Maria, Leona and Olivia played in recent Curtis Cup matches I started to believe I could compete at that level as well," she said.

Mehaffey will be making her second appearance in the Curtis Cup after featuring in the victorious 2016 side.

In 2016, she won the Irish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship and Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship.

This year, she has been selected for the international team to play against the United States in the Arnold Palmer Cup at Evian, France in July.

The non-travelling reserve is Lurgan's Annabel Wilson.

GB&I team: India Clyburn (21, Woodhall Spa, England), Lily May Humphreys (16, Stoke-by-Nayland, England), Annabell Fuller (15, Roehampton, England), Sophie Lamb (20, Clitheroe, England), Paula Grant (24, Lisburn, N Ireland), Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland), Alice Hewson (20, Berkhamsted, England), Olivia Mehaffey (20, Royal County Down Ladies, N Ireland)

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