The 2021 U.S. Curtis Cup team locks in first three players, already looks like a big favorite

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Standout amateurs Rose Zhang, Rachel Heck and Allisen Corpuz became the first official members of the 2021 U.S. Curtis Cup team on Monday. The trio earned their spots via automatic qualifying thanks to being the top three Americans in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking as of last week.

The U.S. faces its rivals from Great Britain & Ireland Aug. 26-28 at Conwy Golf Club in North Wales in a three-day match postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zhang, 18, is ranked No. 1 in the world after winning last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and claiming the U.S. Girls’ Junior title two weeks ago. The high school senior from Irvine, Calif., also just missed a playoff at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.

Heck is ranked No. 2 behind Zhang. The 19-year-old Memphis native wrapped up her freshman season at Stanford this spring by winning the Pac-12, NCAA regional and NCAA Championship in successive starts, just the third player to accomplish the feat. She also posted a 69.72 stroke average for the season, the lowest in college golf history.

Corpuz, 23, wrapped up a successful college career at USC this spring, being named a first-team All-American. She’s already played in 16 USGA championships, including three U.S. Opens, and was the youngest player to ever qualify for the now defunct U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links when she did so at age 10 years, 3 months, 9 days. She’s No. 12in the most recent women’s amateur ranking.

“The level of talent in the women’s amateur game has never been stronger,” said Sarah Ingram, the U.S. Curtis Cup captain and a three-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion. “Rose, Rachel and Allisen have all had unbelievably impressive years, with notable accomplishments at the junior, amateur and collegiate levels, and we’re honored and fortunate to have them a part of the USA Team.”

The remaining five players on the eight-player U.S. Curtis Cup team will be selected after the finish of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which is being played at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., Aug. 2-8. The winner of that championship, and the winner of the 2021 McCormack Medal for the top-ranked amateur after the championship, if both American, will automatically qualify for the team. The USGA’s International Team Selection working group will pick the remaining players to round out the team.

The U.S. is trying to win the Curtis Cup on foreign soil for the first time since 2008. The Americans won the last Curtis Cup match in 2018, defeating GB&I in a landslide at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., 17-3., and holds a 28-8-3 lead overall in the competition.

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