Sunday, July 14, 2013

EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS - Scotland pipped by England for title as boys and girls teams also lose their final matches

Scotland, with Ayrshire’s Jack McDonald in the team, were pipped for the European Mens Team Championship title by England in the final showdown on Saturday 13 July in Denmark.

(Report from the SGU)

Scotland’s bid to claim the European Men’s Amateur Team Championship for the first time in four years came up agonisingly short, as England won an epic ‘Auld Enemy’ battle in Denmark.

After a superb week at Silkeborg GC, the home club of Ryder Cup stalwart Thomas Bjorn, the Scots were just unable to cross the winning line – losing 4.5-2.5 after a closely-fought, tense contest that went right to the wire.

“There was nothing in it at the end and the guys should be so proud,” said Ian Rae, Scotland’s National Coach. “England had five players from the top-34 in the world in their team and we didn’t have anybody here in the top 100. The whole team contributed for us this week and there are so many positives.”

Having finished fifth in stroke play qualifying at the 16-team event, the Scots held their nerve to defeat Germany and then France, the top qualifiers, in tight quarter-final and semi-final matches.

A final showdown with England, boasting Amateur champion Garrick Porteous among their six-player number, certainly got the juices flowing – but the action began badly from a Scottish perspective.

Ewan Scott (St Andrews) and James Ross (Royal Burgess) lost the first six holes in the opening foursomes tie to Porteous and St Andrews Links winner Neil Raymond. Despite a mini-Scots fightback, the English duo held on for a 4 and 2 win.

Minutes later Max Orrin and Nathan Kimsey wrapped up the same margin of victory, ending the winning five-match foursomes run of Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson and last year’s Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year, Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock Barassie.

“England played awesome in the foursomes, Porteous and Raymond were five-under-par for the first nine holes,” noted Rae.

Two-nil down ahead of the five singles ties in the afternoon, the Scots faced an uphill task but they simply refuse to throw in the towel. Indeed, going into the closing four holes, three games were all square with each country holding slender one-up leads in the other two matches.

 Robertson, who won all six points in Scotland’s Home Internationals win last year, again impressed to defeat Callum Shinkwin by a hole. After five wins in six match play games in Denmark, Robertson has further enhanced his Walker Cup selection claims for the match at The National Golf Links of America, Southampton, New York in September.

Porteous saw off McDonald 2 and 1, but Scottish Boys champion Bradley Neil recorded his third singles win of the week in defeating Toby Tree by two holes.

It was 3-2 England, with the final two games incredibly going to extra holes – after Scott Borrowman, the hero against Germany, lost a two-hole advantage with four to play against Orrin.

It was Orrin, currently ranked eighth in the world, who saw England home with victory at the 19th, meaning Scott and Kimsey picked up their balls for a half each in the game ahead.

Still, it proved a fine week for the Scots as a whole – especially after Blairgowrie’s Neil, still only 17, was a late call-up following Grant Forrest’s withdrawal to focus on preparing for his Open debut at Muirfield on Thursday. Like Neil, Scott is still a National Boys Squad player. 

“It was a great effort to get to the final,” concluded Rae. “We beat Germany and France and beating England was always going to be a tall order. I’ve been with our teams at these events for a number of years and it would have been one of the best wins we had ever achieved, as it would have been slightly unexpected.”

Match details :-

James Ross and Ewan Scott lost to Neil Raymond and Garrick Porteous by 4 & 2
Graeme Robertson and Jack McDonald lost to Max Orrin and Callum Shinkwin by 4 & 2

Robertson beat Shinkwin by 1 hole
McDonald lost to Porteous by 3 & 2
Bradley Neil beat Toby Tree by 2 holes
Scott halved with Nathan Kimsey
Scott Borrowman lost to Orrin at the 19th

 In the European Boys Team Championship at Murcar Links, Scotland, with Kilmarnock Barassie’s Euan Walker in the side, failed in their attempt to secure seventh place overall when they lost to Sweden on the final day by 4.5 – 0.5.
Match details :-

Ewen Ferguson and Ben Kinsley lost to Adam Blomme and Fredrik Nilhen by 1 hole
Calum Hill lost to Marcus Kinhuilt by 4 & 3
Euan Walker lost to Hampus Nilsson by 6 & 4
Robert MacIntyre halved with Tobias Eden
Connor Syme lost to Jesper Olsson by 3 & 2

France beat Norway 4-3 in the championship decider.

In the European Girls Championship in Sweden, Scotland, with Connie Jaffrey of Troon Ladies in the side, lost out in the 5th & 6th place play off to Italy on Saturday.

Match details :-
Scotland 0 Italy 5

Fiona Liddell and Heather Munro lost to Martina Floi and Lucrezia Rosso by 2 holes

Lauren Whyte lost to Camilla Mortigliengo by 1 hole
Lesley Atkins lost to Roberta Liiti by 4 & 3
Connie Jaffrey lost to Virgina Carta by 2 holes
Clara Young lost to Camilla Mazzola by 3 & 2

Sweden beat France in the girls championship decider.




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