Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh and Scotland’s Louise Duncan will be the big draws at this week’s Curtis Cup after their brilliant performances at the AIG Women’s Open in Carnoustie.
Team Great Britain and Ireland also includes the sensational Lurgan star Annabel Wilson (20), who forges a steep career at UCLA and wants to make a big impact at Conwy from tomorrow.
She is currently 64th in the world rankings for amateur golf, having climbed to 48th place in three top 10 finishes in American college tournaments this year.
The secret of her success is her incredible work ethic and that metronomic swing that she has honed for 11 years with PGA pro Peter Martin, golf director of the Colin Glen Leisure Complex in West Belfast, which has a nine-hole golf course – modern TopTracer driving range and fitness facilities on site.
“Annabel is an incredibly talented golfer and the entire Colin Glen team is thrilled to receive the recognition she deserves,” said Martin, a former Ulster interprovincialist.
“She has trained with us here at Colin Glen Leisure since she was just 11 years old and it has been a pleasure to see how she got stronger over the years.
“We look forward to cheering them on at the Curtis Cup this month and wish the entire team from Great Britain and Ireland the best of luck.”
Originally planned for 2020, the 41st Curtis Cup was postponed last year due to the ongoing pandemic and offers Team GB&I the chance to recapture the title after America’s 2018 victory in New York.
Wilson, who together with the Solheim Cup player Leona Maguire and the rookie professional Olivia Mehaffey helped Ireland to get his first medal with bronze at the Amateur Team World Championships in Mexico in 2016, can hardly wait to start the games today .
“To be selected for my first Curtis Cup for GB&I is just great,” said Annabel. “It’s been postponed for a year so everyone is excited and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Martin believes that Wilson’s move to the US has been huge for her development as she goes up a level and learns to deal with different conditions.
She is another role model for women’s golf in Ireland and follows in the footsteps of Leona, whose calling for the Solheim Cup has given the game here enormous wings.
And that’s thanks to coaches like Martin who take these players from beginner to professional level.
“Pete was with me most of the time. He’s so on it and wants me to be so good, he believes in me more than I sometimes do myself. That brings me so much, ”explained Annabel.
They now stay in touch via Zoom when Wilson is in Los Angeles, but having learned solid basics from an early age, she’s never far from her best form.