England defeat Scotland in final to take trophy
IN a battle that would make even the most staunch Scot proud, the underdog Scottish Men’s Amateur team came agonisingly close to defeating England in the final of the European Men’s Amateur Team Championship and claiming the title for the first time in four years.
The match came down to extra holes as the two sides battled it out at Silkeborg Golf Club, in the East Jutland region of Denmark, with Scotland defeated 4½ – 2½ in the end by a talented English side that featured five of the best amateur players in the game.
“There was nothing in it at the end and the guys should be 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.”
Scotland were given a tough draw throughout the 16-team event after finishing fifth overall in the strokeplay qualifying. They met and defeated Germany in the quarter-final and held their nerve against France in the semi-final, both top seeds, before coming up against England in the final.
The final failed to get off to a good start for the Scottish side as they trailed 2-0 following the morning foursomes in a performance from the opposition that Rae described as ‘awesome’, in particular by the team of Garrick Porteous and Neil Raymond, who were six-up after six holes and carded a score of five-under par on the front nine.
The Scots faced an uphill task as they entered into the five singles ties in the afternoon but the final session proved to be much tighter than the morning with three games all square heading into the final four holes, and each country holding one-up leads in the other two matches.
It was all to play for as two games went to extra holes with England holding a 3-2 lead, but Scott Borrowman was left to rue the loss of a two-hole advantage in the closing stages as he lost to Max Orrin on the first extra hole, giving England victory.
“It was a great effort to get to the final,” said a positive 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.”