ST. LOUIS – Southern California's Annie Park won two matches Friday in the Curtis Cup to help the United States take a 5-1 lead over Britain and Ireland at St. Louis Country Club.
The 19-year-old Park, from Levittown, N.Y., teamed with Mississippi State's Ally McDonald to beat Bronte Law and Charlotte Thomas 4 and 3 in the morning four-ball matches, then joined UCLA's Erynne Lee to top Eilidh Briggs and Gabriella Cowley 3 and 1 the afternoon foursomes.
"I think all of us, we have this little fire in us," Park said.
The United States is trying to regain the cup after falling 10 1/2 to 9 1/2 in 2012 at Nairn in Scotland. The loss was the Americans' first since 1996. The U.S. leads the series 27-7-3.
"Great, but still mixed emotions because there's still a lot of golf," said U.S. Captain Ellen Port, from St. Louis. "I'm never one to get very excited with a big lead because I've seen them go away, but they did a great job. ... There was a lot of energy, especially in the morning."
On Saturday, there will again be three morning foursomes matches and three afternoon four-ball matches. On Sunday, the biennial competition will close with eight singles.
"I suppose if you looked at them just now, their chins were a little down in the locker room, but what I've just said to them is that I don't want them to feel despondent about the games," Britain and Ireland Captain Tegwen Matthews said. "Surely, if you look at the score, there's every reason to be despondent. but I don't want them to be despondent about how well they played. They played well. The Americans played better."
In the other four-ball matches, Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse and Alabama's Emma Talley beat Alabama's Stephanie Meadow and Georgia Hall 2 and 1, and UCLA's Alison Lee and Southern California's Kyung Kim edged Annabel Dimmock and Gemma Dryburgh 4 and 3.
Meadow and Hall halved their foursomes match with Alison Lee and Clemson's Ashlan Ramsey, and Dimmock and Law halved with Talley and McDonald.