GB&I claim St Andrews Trophy after repelling Continental fightback
Great Britain & Ireland has won the St Andrews Trophy after recording 14.5–10.5 victory over the Continent of Europe after two hard-fought days in Slovakia.
Having opened up an 8–4 lead at Penati Golf Resort thanks to a number of crucial wins on the 18th hole on day one, GB&I built on their advantage after three further foursomes triumphs.
The Continent of Europe launched a valiant singles comeback in the final session, winning five matches, but it was Scotsman Calum Scott who sealed success for the visitors who were led by non-playing captain Stuart Wilson from Forfar.
Irishman Mark Power won three-and-a-half points from a possible four, while the English duo of Sam Bairstow and Barclay Brown, both of whom competed in The 150th Open in St Andrews last week – also secured three and two-and-half points respectively.
England’s Arron Edwards-Hill claimed three-and-a-half points too, winning the closing singles match against Laurenz Schiergen from Germany, while teenager Scott was unbeaten as he won three points – including the clinching 4&3 victory over Maximilian Steinlechner from Austria.
With a four-point deficit overnight, Continent of Europe captain Yves Hofstetter, a former Swiss international team player, had vowed to attack in the foursomes. However, in the hot conditions, more tight matches again went the way of GB&I with Bairstow and Irishman Matthew McClean claiming the most notable. The duo triumphed on the last for a one-hole success against Pietro Bovari from Italy and Portugal’s Daniel Da Costa Rodrigues. Brown, who was wearing his distinctive bucket hat along with other members of the team, also gelled with Power in a two-hole victory over German duo Schiergen and Anton Albers.
With GB&I now six points ahead, the Continent of Europe did dig deep to reply in the singles. Sweden’s David Lundgren saw off Bairstow by two holes, Da Costa Rodrigues also defeated Brown by the same margin, and Bovari beat McClean 3&2. There was also a halved opening match between Frenchman Martin Couvra and John Gough from England.
Power, Scott and Edwards-Hill all replied with victories – Power by 6&4 against Adam Wallin from Sweden – while there were consolation wins for Albers and Luis Masaveu Roncal.
Captain GB&I Stuart Wilson said: “I’m absolutely delighted. The St Andrews Trophy is a special event for me and the guys. It’s been a while since it came back to GB&I. The guys played great in the foursomes again to extend our lead, with the last hole kind to us in the first three sessions. The Continent of Europe came back at us, but thankfully there was some great golf from the likes of Mark and Calum to get us over the line.
He added: “Penati has been fantastic. It is such a good golf course and great for this kind of match, especially the risk-and-reward element on the last hole. The weather has also been great.”