Tennesseans Ingram, Heck return to Curtis Cup in 2022
ARDMORE, Pa. — Last year was a year of firsts at the Curtis Cup. The first time it was played the same year as the Walker Cup. The first time Memphis-native Rachel Heck earned a spot on Team USA. And the first time Nashville’s Sarah Ingram was chosen as Team USA’s captain.
“As a captain, for me to be up close and personal with eight amazing golfers who are also amazing people, to be around them is so much fun,” Ingram said.
The Curtis Cup is a team golf competition that pits the best female amateur golfers from the United States against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland.
Under Ingram’s watch in 2021, the US captured their second straight Curtis Cup victory. The win didn’t come easy for Team USA as many of them arrived in Conwy, Wales just a few days before competition started because of COVID travel restrictions.
“Last year everything was moving kind of quickly even though I had two years to think about it,” Ingram said with a chuckle. “Half the team was there for four or five days. The other half only had one practice round.”
But this time around travel won’t be an issue. Both teams are already at Merion Golf Club and have already gotten a few practice rounds in. The course just outside of Philadelphia is also special to Team USA’s captain.
Ingram grew up outside Baltimore, Maryland and remembers playing the course at Merion Golf Club fondly.
“I used to go to Merion a lot as a teenager to play,” Ingram recalled. “It was one of my very favorites, I’d say in my top three, for sure.”
A reunion between Ingram and a course she grew up playing also brings another reunion: Rachel Heck is back on Ingram’s squad. Heck earned an automatic spot on the team thanks to her No. 3 World Amateur Golf Rating on April 6th. Ingram was impressed with what she saw from Heck on and off the course in Wales in 2021 when meeting her for the first time.
“She is the nicest girl,” Ingram said. “Very relaxed, very respectful, pleasant and a fierce competitor… she’s very aware of her impact on the people around her.”
Of course, Ingram isn’t the only one who has a special connection with Heck. Her college teammate at Stanford and 2022 National Champion Rose Zhang will also represent the stars and stripes in Pennsylvania. Does that mean Heck and Zhang are a lock to be paired together?
“I don’t want to give anything,” Ingram said while laughing. “They were a great pairing last year for alternate shot… but we’ll see how the week goes but I wouldn’t be surprised.”
For those that are still on the fence about the Curtis Cup, Ingram said there’s a lot to love about the event and women’s golf in general.
“Women’s golf is really fun to watch,” Ingram said. “The [Team USA] players and their eight opponents are going to put on a really great show. And at Merion, the traditions there, the golf course, the history there, it’s just fantastic… Great friendships are made here and you’re playing for a bigger prize than just yourself: playing for your country.”
The Curtis Cup will be played June 10-13 in Admore, Pennsylvania. You can watch coverage of the 2022 Curtis Cup on the Golf Channel and the Peacock streaming service.