- Golfer Benefits
SPRINGFIELD, Pennsylvania – A tradition of more than 100 years continued at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania this week as 27 women representing three states competed in the 2018 Griscom Cup Matches.
This annual event dates back to 1898 and is considered to be the oldest women’s amateur golf competition hosted in the United States. This challenge has been conducted every year with the exception of the World War II period, 1942-1945, and in 1984 because of inclement weather.
“The history is all consuming and everyone appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event,” said Cathleen Beach, Mass Golf’s director of women’s events & player development, who accompanied Team Massachusetts to this year’s event. “Win, lose or draw it is an honor to play in the Griscom Cup, and we could not be prouder of the players from all three teams.”
The unmatched tradition continued this year as – over a two-day period – teams from Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts competed in foursomes and singles matches.
Capturing the title was the host team from Pennsylvania which finished the two-day event with 51 points including 35.5 earned during Friday’s singles matches.
It marks the 44th victory for Pennsylvania and its sixth title in the last eight years. The latest win also ties Pennsylvania with New York for the most overall titles. Massachusetts stands in third with 27 titles won since the first tri-city event was held in 1902.
The Bay State’s last win came in 2016 at Boston Golf Club in Hingham. It last captured back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Three members from this year’s team – Chelsea Curtis (George Wright GC), Claire Sheldon (The Country Club) and Pam Kuong (Charles River CC) – were part of the Massachusetts squad which captured the title in 2009 at Black Rock Country Club in Hingham.
“It is something that I first started playing in during college and at the time I didn’t know about it but I quickly realized what a special event it was,” said Curtis, who has represented Team Massachusetts at the Griscom Cup six times (2006-09, 2014 and 2018). “It is oldest amateur women’s amateur event, and it is pretty amazing that we are continuing on that tradition.”
This week, it was the host team which was dominant from the start. Pennsylvania jumped out to a day-one lead thanks to a full team effort where all four foursome teams earned points in each match contested.
Pennsylvania collected 15.5 points that day and held a four-point lead over New York and a 6.5-point edge over Massachusetts heading into Friday’s singles matches. A day-high 35.5 points earned on Friday was more than Pennsylvania needed to secure the title and its second win in two years.
Although not victorious in 2018, the nine-person team from Massachusetts battled from start to finish and saw seven of its eight competitors who competed in singles matches collect points on the final day.
Joining Curtis, Sheldon and Kuong on Team Massachusetts this year were Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC), Mary Gale (Bedrock GC), Hannah Ghelfi (Pocasset GC), Jennifer Keim (Cranberry Valley GC), Tracy Martin (Tewksbury CC), and Emily Nash (Settlers Crossing GC).
This year’s top point earners from the Bay State were Kuong and Ghelfi who each collected 6.5 points over the two-day period. On day one, Kuong partnered with Martin and claimed a total of 3.5 points over their two matches. Ghelfi, a rising University of Michigan junior, teamed with fellow collegiate player Keim of Florida Atlantic University on Thursday to post 3 points.
“It was a great golf course,” said Curtis. “It came down to putting. The greens were tricky and had a lot of break, but they rolled true.”
During the singles matches, Ghelfi blanked New York’s Amy Hajjar and claimed points against Madelein Herr of Pennsylvania to finish with a team-high 3.5 points in singles play. Kuong was the only other Bay State golfer to earn the full 3 points on Friday. She accomplished that feat against New York’s Adrienne MacLean.
Also picking up key points for Team Massachusetts on day two were Gale (3 points), Curtis (2 points), Buck (1.5 points) and Sheldon (1 point).
During Thursday’s foursomes matches, the teams of Curtis and Sheldon as well as Nash and Buck earned points to keep Massachusetts in the hunt for the title.
While competition was intense from start to finish, Team Massachusetts did enjoy a special celebration on Thursday when they surprised Buck with a 30th birthday party.
“It felt like college golf again which was fun,” said Curtis. “We stayed in the same hotel, had dinner as a team and pretty much stayed at the course from morning to night especially during the first day. It was a good balance of people. We were a little disappointed with how we played this year, but it was still a great event and everyone enjoyed themselves.”