Golf: Boatman to retire after day of glory: Last-gasp effort of magnificent Moodie enables the women of Great Britain and Ireland to hold on to Curtis Cup

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The Independent Online
LIZ BOATMAN, the Curtis Cup captain, yesterday insisted she was retiring from the international scene despite Great Britain and Ireland's retention of the transatlantic trophy with a 9-9 draw against the United States in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

'I've skippered something like 14 teams now - some England, some British and several Great Britain and Ireland,' Boatman said.

'This brilliant performance to go and hold the Americans in their own country has given me enough golden memories to last me a lifetime,' Boatman said. 'The next Curtis Cup is at Killarney in 1996, and a Curtis Cup in Ireland calls for an Irish-born captain. My vice- captain Ita Butler will be perfect for the job.'

Butler has, of course, still to be appointed to the post by the Ladies Golf Union but it is an open secret that she has been groomed for the Irish occasion through captaincy in the Vagliano Trophy matches and also being Boatman's capable assistant in the United States.

The 1994 Curtis Cup was an action replay of the 1992 thriller at Royal Liverpool when the result was also in doubt until the last putt on the last green in the last match.

The US, after being pegged back in the Sunday foursomes for a 6-6 scoreline with six singles to play, looked to have taken a decisive lead through the victories by Jill McGill, Ellen Port and Wendy Ward over Julie Hall, Mhairi McKay and Lisa Walton.

But the three remaining Scots turned the tide the visitors' way. Catriona Matthew - the top Great Britain and Ireland performer with three points out of four - started the revival by beating Emilee Klein and Myra McKinlay hit form at just the right moment to get the better of Wendy Kaupp.

The spotlight then turned on the 21-year-old Glaswegian Janice Moodie for the final 45 minutes of play.

Toughened and 'improved 100 per cent' by her first year on a golf scholarship at San Jose State, California, Moodie revelled in the pressure against the 45-year-old Carol Semple Thompson.

Moodie was magnificent as she edged ahead at the short 16th, halved the next and then struck a splendid six- iron 165 yards which came to rest four feet from the pin on the 18th green.

Semple Thompson failed to sink her birdie putt and then conceded the match to Moodie and the Curtis Cup for another two years to Great Britain and Ireland.

CURTIS CUP (Chattanooga, Tenn) Complete scores (GB and Irl names first): Saturday: Singles: J Hall halved with J McGill; J Moodie lost to E Klein 3 and 2; L Walton bt W Ward 1 hole; M McKinlay lost to C Semple Thomson 2 and 1; M McKay lost to E Port 2 and 1; C Matthew bt S Sparks 1 hole. Score: Great Britain and Ireland 21 2 United States 31 2 . Foursomes: McKay and K Speak lost to Semple Thompson and Klein 7 and 5; Hall and Walton bt W Kaupp and Port 6 and 5; Matthew and Moodie halved with McGill and S Ingram. Score: Great Britain & Ireland 11 2 United States 11 2 . Sunday: Foursomes: Hall and Walton bt McGill and Ingram 2 and 1; McKinlay and E R Power lost to Semple Thompson and Klein 4 and 2; Matthew and Moodie bt Ward and Sparks 3 and 2. Score: Great Britain and Ireland 2 United States 1. Singles: Hall lost to McGill 4 and 3; Matthew beat Klein 2 and 1; McKay lost to Port 7 and 5; McKinlay beat Kaupp 3 and 2; Walton lost to Ward 4 and 3; Moodie bt Semple Thompson 2 holes. Score: Great Britain and Ireland 3 United States 3. Overall: Great Britain and Ireland 9 United States 9. (GB and Irl, as holders, retain Curtis Cup).

(Photograph omitted)