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England Reigns In Euro Men's

by Colin Callander - July 15, 2013

England beat Scotland by 4½ - 2½ to win the final of the European Men’s Team Championship at Silkeborg Golf Club in Denmark.

The English took a 2-0 lead after the morning foursomes and the sides then shared the singles 2½-2½ after Garrick Porteous and Max Orrin had won their matches for England and Graeme Robertson and Bradley Neil had claimed the points for Scotland. Nathan Kimsey shared the spoils with Ewan Scott in the other singles match.

Robertson’s hard-fought one hole victory over Callum Shinkwin in the top singles gave him five points out of six during the match play stages at Silkeborg and that coupled with six points out of six at last year’s Home Internationals must have made him an odds-on favourite to claim a place in the GB&I side for the forthcoming Walker Cup match in America.

The English came to Denmark with a formidable side featuring several players who will also play in the biennial transatlantic contest and they beat the hosts 5-2 in the quarterfinals, The Netherlands 6-1 in the semifinals before getting the better of their auld enemy in an engrossing final.

Bradley Neil

“The guys should be very proud,” said Scottish National coach, Ian Rae. “England played awesome in the foursomes but there was nothing in it at the end.

“England had five players in the top-34 in the world in their ranks and we didn’t have anybody in the top-100. The whole team contributed for us this week and there are so many positives to take out.”

In what was one of the busiest weeks on the European amateur golf calendar, a strong Spanish side featuring Noemi Jimenez, Camilla Hedberg, Natalia Escuriola, Marta Sanz, Patricia Sanz and Luna Sobron defeated surprise packages Austria by 5-2 in the final of the European Women’s Team Championship at Fulford Golf Club in Yorkshire.

The Spaniards beat France in the quarterfinals and then claimed the scalps of the host nation in the semifinals before ending a superb run by the Austrians who had previously beaten Denmark and Finland.

A talented young French squad emerged triumphant against Norway in the final of the European Boys’ Team Championship at Murcar Links in Scotland. They lost the morning foursomes 2-0 but then mounted a marvellous fightback to win 4-3 and claim the trophy for the first time in 25 years. France had previously beaten Denmark and Italy on the way to the final.

A strong Swedish team successfully defended their title at the European Girls’ Team Championship at Linkoping Golf Club in their home country. They halved the morning foursomes against France but then claimed the singles 3½-1½ with wins from Jessica Vasilic, Linn Andersson and Linnea Ström. Martina Edberg halved her match with Eva Gilly.

Reigning Scottish amateur champion, Grant Forrest, caused something of a stir when he elected to withdraw from the Scotland side for the European Men’s Amateur Championship in Denmark in order to prepare for his debut in The Open Championship.

The 20-year-old from Craigielaw made the decision after claiming a place in the Open by heading the field at the Local Final Qualifying event at Dunbar.

Forrest’s surprise withdrawal meant that Scottish Boys’ champion Neil, 17, was promoted from the Boys’ team, representing Scotland at the concurrent European Boys’ Team Championship at Murcar Links, to play alongside Scott Borrowman, Jack McDonald, Robertson, James Ross and Ewan Scott in the senior squad. Neil’s place in the boys’ team was taken by first reserve, Ben Kinsley, from St Andrews.

“At the start of the year, this wasn’t one of my goals so I’m delighted to be in the team,” said Neil. “I was looking forward to playing at Murcar, but now it’s a great opportunity for me to do well in Denmark.”

A total of 30 amateurs will begin their bid to earn a trip to the Home of Golf when they tee up in today’s Women’s British Open Pre-Qualifying event on the Blue course at The Berkshire.

It is the start of a two-part qualifying process which continues with Final Qualifying at Kingsbarns Golf Links on July 29 and culminates with the successful qualifiers earning a place in the field for the Ricoh Women’s British Open to be played Aug. 1-4 on the Old Course, St Andrews.

World No. 7, Georgia Hall, tops the list of amateurs competing at The Berkshire and she is joined by fellow English internationals, Lauren Taylor and Meghan MacLaren, reigning Scottish champion Alyson McKechin and Welsh international Chloe Williams.

Madelene Sagström, Josephine Janson, Emma Henrikson, Linnea Johansson and Frida Gustafsson-Spang, who all played for Sweden in last week’s European Women’s Team Championship at Fulford, are also in the field.

Kedleston Park’s Bradley Moore and Marco Penge from Worthing will head the field as the English Boys’ Under-16 Championship (McGregor Trophy) gets underway this week at Seacroft Golf Club in Lincolnshire.

The two English Under-18 squad members will be joined by Under-16 internationals, Arun Singh Brar and Matty Lamb, in a strong field that includes competitors from nine different countries.

Moore was the winner of the 2011 English Under-14 Championship and is currently in a rich vein of form having won both the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the Midland Schools Championship. He also reached the quarter finals of the French International Boys Championship at Le Touquet earlier in the season.

Penge is another of England’s most promising youngsters and like Moore represented his country in last week’s European Boys Team Championship at Murcar Links near Aberdeen. He beat Neil, in a playoff for this year’s Fairhaven Trophy and before losing in extra time to Robin Dawson at the recent Irish Boys Open Amateur Championship at Lisburn.

Another strong contender is Singh Brar, who plays out of Brokenhurst Manor in Hampshire and is a cousin of Under-18 cap Jack Singh Brar. He won last year’s Douglas Johns Trophy and recently made his Under-16 debut for England against Spain.

The smart money might well be on 2012 Scottish Under-14 champion, Lamb, from Hexham in Northumberland, not least because this championship has been won by northern-based players in four out the last five years. Cumbria’s Seb Crookhall-Nixon started that run when he won in 2008 and 2009 and he was followed by Northumbrians, Jack Hermeston and Jack Storey, in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The foreign challenge could well be headed by 15-year-old Welshman, Tim Harry, from Vale Golf and Country Club, who earlier this year became the youngest ever winner of the Duncan Putter and then proved that result was no flash in the pan with a subsequent second place finish at the Trubshaw Cup. He was also undefeated when the Welsh boys’ team beat their Irish counterparts in this year’s Cardigan Cup.

This year’s English Under-16 Championship features competitors from all four of the home countries as well as from Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Norway and the USA. The largest overseas contingent comes from Italy which has sent 10 youngsters as they bid to lift a title won by European Tour professional, Eduardo Molinari, at Radcliffe-on-Trent back in 1996.

This is a busy week for junior golf in GB&I because north of the border Lauren Whyte, from the St Regulus Club in St Andrews, will be defending her title at the Scottish Girls (Close) Amateur Championship at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club near Glasgow.

Whyte beat 2013 St Rule’s Trophy winner, Ailsa Summers, in last year’s final at Crail and went on to represent GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney. She also finished runner-up to English girl, Sophie Lamb, at this year’s Fairhaven Trophy.

Summers in no longer eligible but Whyte will come up against 2010 champion Lesley Atkins from Gullane, North Berwick’s Clara Young who reached the final of this year’s Scottish Ladies’ Close Championship, plus Germanbased Fiona Liddell, Monifieth’s Heather Munro and Connie Jaffrey, from Troon Ladies, who made up the Scottish team at last week’s European Girls Team Championship in Sweden.

Also in the field is reigning Scottish Under-21 champion Nicola Callander, who warmed up for the event by winning all five of her singles matches as her county, Hertfordshire, won the East Region Ladies’ County Match Week at The Bedfordshire.

The Scottish Girls’ Championship starts with 36 holes of stroke play qualifying with the top 32 competitors qualifying for the subsequent match play stages.

Matthieu Caron edged out compatriot Edgar Catherine and Guido Migliozzi from Italy as France completed a clean sweep of all the major prizes at the recent Scottish Boys Under-16 Championship at Portlethen.

Caron, from Lille, put together rounds of 68, 72, 70 and 75 to beat Catherine and Migliozzi by a single shot on 3-under-par 285 and become the first Continental player to claim the title. Austrian Daniel Hebenstreit was fourth on 1-under-par 287, while Banchory’s Sam Locke was the leading home-based player, sharing fifth place with Nathan Longley from Worthing on level-par 288.

There was also a French 1-2 in the concurrent Under-14 event. It was won by Antoine Kuoch, who carded rounded of 69, 70, 78 and 72 to finish in a tie for seventh place overall and five shots clear of compatriot Adonis Asikian, in the younger age group category.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Craigie Hill’s Daniel Young produced a 1-2 of his own when he retained his title at the Cameron Corbett Vase at Haggs Castle. The 21 year-old finished birdie-birdie to claim a one-shot victory ahead of Lundin’s James White on 12-under-par 276. Aberdour’s Scott Crichton was third on 282, while recent East of Scotland champion Jamie Savage from Cawder, continued a fine run of form by inishing fifth.

John Kemp filled a major gap in his illustrious CV when he won his first English national title at the English Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Worcestershire Golf Club.

The 45-year-old from Woburn came into the championship with three British Mid-Amateur titles under his belt but it wasn’t until he rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt across the final green that he finally got his hands on the English equivalent after two previous runner-up finishes.

“I’m chuffed to bits,” the former English international said after completing rounds of 69, 70 and 72 to finish a single shot ahead of Paul Williams from Hillside and Paul Scarrett from Blackwell. “I just wanted to get the monkey off my back but I made hard work of it when I hit a 6-iron into a bush on the 16th. I left in in there, got out with my third then took three more for a bogey 6.

“It put me under pressure because I knew the situation,” he added. “I knew I needed a birdie at the last to win and I managed to do it with that 10-footer. It’s the sort of situation that tests you and I’m glad I passed the test.”

Last year’s champion, Thomas Burley, from Burnham & Berrow, closed with a 72 to share 14th place on 221 while Global Golf’s Post’s own James Bunch shared 25th place having gone into the event as reigning Scottish and Welsh Mid-Amateur champion.

Garth McGimpsey

Former Walker Cup player Garth McGimpsey holed a curling 45-foot birdie putt across the final green to claim his third successive Irish Senior Amateur Close Championship at Portumna Golf Club in Co. Galway.

The putt sealed a superb 3-under par 69 and confirmed a six-shot victory ahead of Donerail’s Michael Quirke on 3-over-par 219. Tipperary’s Arthur Pierse clinched the over-60s prize after inishing tied fourth on 277 while Cork’s Peter Cowley won the over-65s trophy after completing the championship in the group one shot further behind. The over-70s award went to Blainroe’s Alastair Smith.

Leading qualifier Suzanne Corcoran, who plays out of Portumna, beat Laytown & Bettystown’s Carol Wickham, 3 and 2, in the final to win the Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship at Woodenbridge Golf Club in the Vale of Avoca.

Reproduced with kind permission of Global Golf Post - Subscribe now for free


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