amateur golf
amateur golf


Back from their college commitments in America, Luke Donald and Jamie Elson have been named in the England team for the European Men's Team Championships in Sweden next month.

The rest of a strong and experienced six-man side, which will attempt to give England its first victory in 10 years at Ljunghusens, near Malmo, on 3-7 July is: Graeme Clark (Doncaster), Nick Dougherty (Shaw Hill), Richard McEvoy (Thorpe Hall) and Gary Wolstenholme (Kilworth Springs). The team will be captained by Malcolm Lewis.

Donald, 23, who has completed a highly-successful stint at the Northwestern University in the United States, should be a first choice for the forthcoming Walker Cup, will be making his first England appearance since the previous European Team Championships two years ago in Italy.

But he played for Great Britain and Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy at Turnberry last July and in the Eisenhower Trophy in Berlin in August before returning to college.

Elson, 20, who is attending Augusta State, is also hoping for a Walker Cup call, having made his England senior debut only last year against France at Chart Hills. This will be his first European Men's Team Championships appearance although he played in the European Boys at Gullane in 1998 and was a member of the victorious England squad in last year's European Youths Team Championships in Kilmarnock.

Clark, 24, a former Yorkshire champion, made his England debut this year against Spain in Barcelona after being named reserve for last year's Home Internationals in Carnoustie. But he soon settled into the England team in Spain and was the hero of a 15-9 victory, which saw Clark unbeaten in his four matches.

Dougherty, 19, also made his senior England debut against the French at Chart Hills and has been on the international scene since 1997 when he played in the Boys Home Internationals at Royal North Devon. Among an ever-expanding list of achievements, Dougherty was the individual winner in the Boys World Team Championships in Japan in 1999, and in January gave England its first victory for 10 years in the Lake Macquarie International tournament in Australia.

McEvoy, 22, is another who made his senior international debut against the French and is enjoying a highly successful season, having won the Lytham Trophy and the Irish Open Amateur Championship in Dublin in successive weeks.

Wolstenholme, who will turn 41 in August, made his full international debut back in 1988 and is now second on the all-time list of England caps. This year he has again been at the forefront of many events, winning the Sherry Cup in Spain as well as the Selborne and Hampshire Salvers in this country. Few England teams take to the fairways without his presence and he seems set for another Walker Cup call in August.

Donald and Wolstenholme are the sole survivors of the team that finished fourth in the European Men's Team Championships in Italy two years ago. This will be the 22nd playing of the Championships and England have lifted the title on eight occasions, the last being in Spain in 1991.

Ljunghusens is very much a links course beside the sea where the wind can be a major factor and where a premium is put on accurate driving. It is half an hour's drive from Malmo and its neighbour is Falsterbo where England completed its first ever victory in the Championships back in 1963.

The full England team is:

Greame Clark (Doncaster) Jamie Elson (Kenilworth)
Luke Donald (Beaconsfield) Richard McEvoy (Thorpe Hall)
Nick Dougherty (Shaw Hill) Gary Wolstenholme (Kilworth Springs)
br> Reserves: David Dixon (Enmore Park), David Griffiths (West Herts)


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