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GB&I Capture Jacques Leglise Trophy

by Colin Callander - September 3, 2013

The Great Britain & Ireland team regained the Jacques Leglise Trophy in convincing style by defeating the Continent of Europe, 15-9, at Royal St David’s in Harlech.

The victory reversed the result at a windswept Portmarnock 12 months ago and means that GB&I now has won the trophy five times in the past seven matches stretching back to 2007.

The Continent of Europe came into the match as holders but were quickly on the back foot when the home side won the first foursomes series 3-1. The wins came from the Scottish pairings of Ewen Ferguson and Bradley Neil and Robert MacIntyre and Connor Syme and the other being registered by England’s Bradley Moore and Ireland’s Robin Dawson.

Germany’s Dominic Foos and Italy’s Renato Paratore registered convincing victories against Ferguson and Ben Amor in the afternoon singles but in the end Neil, Dawson, Syme and Marco Penge secured wins and Ashton Turner halved with Mario Galiano to give GB&I a 7½-3½ advantage at the end of the first day.

Four points is a big deficit to retrieve and the following day Europe found itself further behind when GB&I won two and halved two of the second foursomes matches.

The victories were achieved by Turner and Penge and MacIntyre and Syme and it meant that GB&I needed just two points from the singles to claim victory. They started slowly when Ferguson lost to Paratore, Turner halved with Michael Hirmer and Neil lost to Ivan Cantero but subsequent wins by Moore, Penge and Dawson saw them claim the trophy. The two teams shared the spoils in the last two singles when Foos beat Syme and MacIntyre overcame Paul Elissalde.

There were several fine performances in both sides with Irish champion Dawson being the only player to emerge undefeated. He posted two wins in the singles and a win and a halve in the foursomes to claim a personal haul of 3½ points out of 4.

Syme collected three points in his four matches while Neil, Moore and MacIntyre all secured 2½ points for the GB&I cause. The leading European points earner was Spain’s Cantero who collected 2½ points with a win and a halve in the foursomes and a victory against Neil in the second singles.

English international Robert Burlison was his team’s star player as Staffordshire won its first English Boys’ County Championship at Kedleston Park.

The 18-year-old from Oxley Park won twice during the last day to take his personal haul to six points out of six as Staffordshire defeated Devon, 8-1, to confirm his team’s maiden victory in the event.

Defending champions Yorkshire closed with an emphatic 6½-2½ victory against a team representing Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands to claim second place.

Burlison was in fine form, teaming up with Drayton Park’s Cameron Long to win all three of their foursomes and also beat Yorkshire’s Jonathan Thomson and Hampshire/Isle of Wight/Channel Islands’ TJ Donaldson before ending the contest with a comprehensive 4-and-3 victory over Devon’s Jacob Tinsley in the top singles game. Long lost his first singles against Yorkshire’s Kealan Lowe but then defeated Hampshire’s Ryan Harmer and Devon’s Robbie Thompson to take his personal haul to five out of six.

“I am very proud the boys have won this title of the first time,” said Staffordshire captain Mike Tunnicliffe after winning the final match against Devon. “It was almost a perfect day. Winning this morning’s foursomes 3-0 was a very good start but we knew Yorkshire would set a challenge.

“Every single presented another challenge and happily the boys were up to it,” he added. “This has put Staffordshire on the map as far as boys’ golf is concerned and now that we’ve broken our duck I’m hoping this will encourage other juniors to repeat the performance in future years.”

Burlison was not the only player to leave Kedleston Park with six points out of six. That feat was also accomplished by Yorkshire’s Lowe.

Lowe celebrated his 16th birthday a week early by winning three foursomes out of three in partnership with Ben Brewster and also claimed singles victories against Staffordshire’s Long, Devon’s Tom Trowbridge and Bill Watson from Hampshire/ Isle of Wight/Channel Islands.

Yorkshire’s captain Gary Brown was disappointed they had not defended the title: “Our lads played well today. They gave 100 per cent and you can’t ask for more than that.

“We thought that if we could get six points today we’d be happy but Staffordshire played superbly to get eight against Devon. But the damage was done yesterday when we lost to Devon.”

Devon’s most successful players were Oliver Cowl with 3½ points out of 6 and Daniel Guy who emerged with three points out of five while Billy Watson claimed 4 points out of 6 to be the highest points earner for Hampshire/Isle of Wight/Channel Islands.

Devon were edged into fourth place by Hampshire/Isle of Wight/Channel Islands but that disappointment was eased by the fact that they have just become the first county to reach the finals of the men’s, boys’ and seniors’ County Championships in a single calendar year. That is an England Golf record and it is all the more impressive because it is a small county with just 46 golf clubs.

Woodhall Spa’s Richard Latham will head the English team as it bids to win this week’s European Men’s Seniors’ Team Championship at Pannonia Golf and Country Club in Hungary.

The 55-year-old reigning English and Scottish Seniors champion will be joined by Richard Partridge (Wildernesse), Charles Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds), Tyrone Carter (Stevenage), Martin Galway (Brighton and Hove) and Andrew Stracey (Denham) as England bids to regain a trophy it won in 2009 and 2010.

Latham and Partridge are the only two rookies in the side.

The English face competition from 19 other nations in Hungary including Sweden, who are bidding for a hat-trick of victories having retained the trophy after beating Germany in last year’s final at Estoril.

Scotland and Ireland both battled into Flight A for the match-play stages in Portugal and like England also field a mixture of experience and new faces for this year’s event in Hungary.

West Lothian’s Alan O’Neill and Lindsay Gordon from Turnhouse both make their debuts for Scotland and will be joined by Grangemouth’s Lindsay Blair, Dumfries and County’s Ian Brotherstone, Broomieknowe’s David Gardner and John Fraser from Royal Burgess all of whom have made at least one previous appearance in the championship. Blair currently leads the SGU’s Seniors Order of Merit after five top-four finishes this season just ahead of O’Neill and Gordon. Gardner was the 2012 SGU Seniors Order of Merit champion.

Garth McGimpsey

Ireland’s team comprises reigning Irish Seniors’ Open Amateur champion Michael Quirke (Doneraile), current Seniors’ Close Amateur champion Garth McGimpsey (Bangor) plus Tom Cleary (Cork), Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock) and Arthur Pierse (Tipperary).

Wales has not entered a team. The field features teams from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Winners Sweden, runners-up Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Belgium were the eight countries to qualify for Flight A during the match-play stage 12 months ago.

This week also sees Europe’s leading senior women competing in the European Senior Ladies’ Team Championship at Bled Golf Club, Slovenia. The defending champions are Italy, who finished ahead of France and Ireland at last year’s Championship at Lugano Golf Club in Switzerland.

Stirling University’s Jack McDonald moved to the top of the Scottish Golf Union’s Men’s Order of Merit after an emphatic seven-stroke victory at the North of Scotland Amateur Championship at Nairn.

The 20-year-old Kilmarnock Barassie Club member put together rounds of 69, 66, 73 and 66 for a 14-under par aggregate of 274 and a seven-shot advantage on Dollar’s Scott Borrowman, who topped the Order of Merit 12 months ago.

Borrowman carded scores of 72, 71, 68 and 70 to finish on 281 and four shots ahead of Lundin’s James White. Kirkhill’s Craig Ross and Matthew Clark from Kilmacolm shared fourth place on level-par 288.

McDonald’s seven-stroke winning margin was a tournament record.

All five of the leading competitors at Nairn feature within the top 10 of the SGU Men’s Order of Merit heading into the last counting event of the season. McDonald overtook White thanks to his performance in the Highlands while Adam Dunton (McDonald), Ross, Clark, Borrowman, Alexander Culverwell (Dunbar), Scott Crichton (Aberdour), Jamie Savage (Cawder) and Michael Daily (Erskine) complete the current top 10. Last year’s top three were Borrowman, Dunton and Clark.

Dunbar’s Culverwell won the Bookless Cup as the leading amateur at last week’s Northern Open at Meldrum House Golf Club.

The 25-year-old reigning Scottish Amateur champion put together rounds of 71, 67, 63 and 70 to finish in a share of ninth place behind Banchory professional James Byrne.

Byrne set a new tournament record when he carded rounds of 67, 66, 63 and 65 for a 19-under par total of 261 and a single shot victory ahead of David Law from the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre.

Culverwell’s nearest amateur challenger was fellow Scottish international Jamie Savage from Cawder who closed with a 6-under-par 64 to climb up to a share of 12th place on 273.

Law has won twice as a professional on the EPD Tour since winning the 2011 Scottish Amateur at Western Gailes and then becoming the last amateur to win the Northern Open later the same year.

Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan led from start to inish to win the Italian Under- 16s International at Biella Le Betulle.

The 15-year-old from Oslo opened with two rounds of 71 and then added a 70 and a 74 to finish six shots ahead of England’s Arrun Singh Brar on 6-under 286.

Singh Brar closed with a 7-underpar 67 to post a level-par aggregate of 292 and finish a further four shots in front of South Africa’s Kyle McClatchie, Italy’s Teodoro Soldati and Vaclav Lebl from the Czech Republic. Italy’s Edoardo Giletta, South Africa’s Keegan De Lange and Finland’s Oliver Lindell finished in a share of sixth place on 297.

Massereene’s Tiaman McLarnon survived a last-round slump to win the Irish Youths’ Amateur Close Championship at Claremorris.

McLarnon started the final round with a six-stroke lead after opening rounds of 71, 66 and 72 but that advantage had disappeared by the 13th and in the end he did well to regain his composure and post a closing 78 to finish two strokes ahead of defending champion Stuart Grehan from Tullamore and Esker Hills’ Alan Lowry on 5-under-par 287.

Cork’s John Hickey looked a likely challenger midway through the final round but a triple-bogey 7 effectively ended his chances and in the end he closed with 74 to finish alone in fourth place on 1-under-par 291.

The new champion made his debut for Ulster during its winning campaign at last month’s Senior Interprovincial Matches at Lee Valley.

Lowry is the younger brother of European Tour professional and former Irish Open winner Shane Lowry.

Kevin Le Blanc, from The Island Golf Club near Dublin, successfully defended his title at the recent Irish Boys’ Under-15s at West Waterford.

Le Blanc carded two rounds of 70 for a 4-under par aggregate of 140 and a three-stroke victory against England’s John Gough, who finished strongly with a 3-under-par 69 to claim second place on 1-under-par 143.

Australian Daniel List, started with a disappointing 79 but then stormed up the field with a 68 to finish in third place on 147.

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