Rough Week For U.S. Captain And Husband
NAIRN, SCOTLAND | Pat Cornett, the
US captain, and her husband, Mike Iker,
had rather more shared experiences
than they would have anticipated at the
Curtis Cup. The day after Iker had been
taken to the Town and Country Hospital
in Nairn with what was said to be acute
cellulitis, Cornett broke her right ankle
in a buggy accident and ended up in the
Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
Cornett, a doctor, was a passenger
in the buggy and had her leg trailing
outside the vehicle when it cannoned
into a spectator stand beside the first
tee. Though, initially, she thought that
the injury was one she could shrug off,
the pain was such that she very soon
suspected that there was a break.
The Curtis Cup medical team were
summoned and were understandably
nervous at attending a patient with her
qualifications – Fellow in Hematology/
Oncology at Letterman Army Medical
Center 1983-1986; professor of Medicine; Associate Chair for Education
in the Department of Medicine at the
University of California; and the Associate Chief of Staff for Education at
the San Francisco VA Medical Centre.
The said team hurriedly concurred with
Cornett’s self-diagnosis and dispatched
her to Inverness.
Carol Semple Thompson, an eleven-
times Curtis Cup player and a two-time
American captain, served as an acting
captain as Cornett was having her leg
put in plaster but Cornett was not away
for long. After paying tribute to the Brit-
ain’s National Health Service, she was
back in Nairn in time to join her team –
they were by then 4-2 ahead – for dinner.
to think about such things as who was
the happier standing on the first tee.
“It’s as simple as that,” she advised.
At least it should be. Not too long
ago, Justin Rose was recalling the
1997 Walker Cup, the one at Quaker
Ridge, when Michael Brooks, his playing companion for the first foursomes
series, refused to hit the opening shot.
The then 17-year-old Rose had no option other than to take it himself but,
when he sliced it out of bounds, he had
a certain satisfaction in seeing Brooks
having to face up to the experience he
so dreaded. As Rose remembers it, he
hooked it miles left and the two lost to
the tune of 5 and 4 against Jerry Cour-ville and Buddy Marucci.
On the day before the off, the GB&I
players approached Tegwen Matthews,
their captain, to ask how they should
decide on who should tee off at the first
in the foursomes. Matthews told them
There was an interesting observation
from a member of the past Curtis Cup
players’ society as she watched a series
of her old friends hitting off in an as-
sortment of friendly games last Thurs-
day morning. As some struggled with
metal hip joints and another admitted
to a worn knee-joint, the lady in ques-
tion made the very pertinent suggestion
that the players’ swings were mostly in
rather better shape than their bodies.
Kelly Tidy was the Imelda Marcos of
the GB&I side. This winner of the 2010
Even a broken leg due to a buggy
accident couldn’t keep US captain
Pat Cornett away from the action.
British Ladies’ Open Amateur championship came north with 11 pairs of shoes,
nine of the dress variety and two for golf.
In the last few years, Tidy has had
plenty of good advice from Ian Poul-
ter’s caddie, Terry Mundy, whom she
met during a winter trip to Champion-
sGate in Florida. “He helped me with
my course management and got me to
start thinking like a professional.”
No-one knew quite what to expect
from the weather at Nairn. The GB&I
team had a gathering at the course in
March when they could have worn shorts.
And another in May when it was snowing.