Fathlegg’s Robin Dawson was Great Britain and Ireland’s top scorer as they regained the Jacques Leglise Trophy with a convincing 15 – 9 victory over the Continent of Europe at Royal St David’s in North Wales.
Winner of both his matches on Friday, Dawson pciked up a half in the foursomes with England’s Bradley Moore against French pair Paul Elissalde and Romain Langasque as GB&I won the session 3-1 to move 10½ - 5½ ahead heading into the eight singles.
Dawson then ended the match as GB&I’s best scorer with three and a half points out of four after beating France’s Nicolas Manifacier 4 & 3 as GB&I saw out the victory with a 4½ and 3½ win in the final singles to to reclaim the trophy which the Continent of Europe won last year at Portmarnock.
Dawson carded four birdies on the front nine to be three up. He lost the tenth, won the 11th with a birdie and the 12th with a par then, after Manifacier had dramatically holed-in-one to win the short 14th, he won the 15th with a par and the match.
GB&I had earlier strengthened their grip on the match by winning two and halving the other two matches in the morning foursomes.
That left them requiring only two points from the eight afternoon singles matches to reclaim the trophy and English players Bradley Moore and Marco Penge clinched the points with victories in matches four and five.
“The lads have gone out this year with such a great mentality and it’s just great what we’ve done,” said GB&I Captain Ashton Turner, who was a member of the beaten side last year. “They have more than held their own against the best in Europe.
“Bradley Neil was in last year’s team as well so it’s been a great experience for both of us knowing that we have won this time. I’m very honoured to have been Captain.”
Europe’s non-playing Captain Miguel Franco de Sousa was magnanimous in defeat. “It was a great match,” he said. “GB&I played good golf. Our boys played good golf as well, it was just not good enough.
“It was a great week. The boys have had a wonderful time all week. Royal St David’s is a great venue The golf course was in absolutely top condition. It was presented beautifully and we have really enjoyed it.”
Penge clinched the vital point to get GB&I over the line with a 3 & 2 victory over Frenchman Romain Langasque after his England team mate Moore had won the first point of the afternoon.
Penge won the third and fourth and they then halved the next seven holes before he moved to three up with a winning par at the 12th. They halved the next two then Langasque won one back with a par at the 15th, only for Penge to close out the match with a winning birdie at the next.
Moore fought back from being two down after three to beat Spain’s Mario Galiano 5 & 4. He won the fourth and fifth holes with pars and the sixth, seventh and eighth with birdies to go from two down to three up. He went on to win the 10th and 12th with pars and sealed it with a par at the 14th.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre won his third point of the match with a 4 & 2 win over Paul Elissalde from France. There was never more than one hole in it until MacIntyre won three holes in a row from the 11th. He closed out the match with a winning par at the 16th.
GB&I Captain Turner was two up after eight in his match against Germany’s Michael Hirmer. He lost the ninth to a birdie and then three holes from the 12th to par to go two down. Turner showed character to win the 15th and 16th. The last two holes were halved to ensure half a point for each team.
The Boys Amateur Champion Ewen Ferguson was never in front against last year’s European Young Masters Champion Renato Paratore, losing 2 & 1. He was three down at the turn, won the tenth and 16th to cut the deficit to one and then lost the 17th to a birdie.
Ferguson’s foursomes partner and fellow Scot Bradley Neil also lost by two holes against Spain’s Ivan Cantero. The Spaniard was three up after seven. Neil birdied the eighth and tenth to get back to one down but Cantero won the 11th with a birdie. Neil eagled the 12th and won the 13th to get back to all square but then lost the 14th and 16th to pars. He kept his hopes of a half point alive by winning the 17th but had to concede at the last.
Connor Syme lost to Germany’s Dominic Foos after winning the first two holes of the match with birdies. He then lost five in a row to be three down, won the eighth and 11th to get back to one down but then lost the 13th and 15th and halved the 16th to lose 3 & 2.
In the morning foursomes Turner and Penge beat Paratore and Foos 5 & 4; Ferguson and Neil halved with Galiano and Cantero; Moore and Dawson halved with Elissalde and Langasque and MacIntyre and Syme beat Ventura and Manifacier 3 & 2.