The Continent of Europe crushed Great Britain and Ireland in the singles to record the team’s biggest ever win in the biennial St Andrews Trophy — 15½-9½.
Trailing 7-5 at the start of the second day at Linna Golf in Finland, they won three of the morning foursomes matches to leave the two teams level at 8-8 going into the singles.
The hosts the secured 7½ of the 9 points available to lift the trophy for the first time since 2012 when they won the match 12½-11½ at Portmarnock.
In the first match out on the course this afternoon, Matthew Jordan edged GB&I ahead 9-8 after comfortably winning his tie against Edgar Catherine 3&2. Scores
The lead was to be short-lived as Fredrik Nilehn of Sweden resisted a spirited fightback from 2018 Amateur Championship runner-up Robin Dawson to record a 4&3 victory that included five birdies and an eagle to level the overall score at 9-9.
Sami Valimaki nudged the Continent of Europe closer to the winning post at 10-9 after the Finn impressively defeated John Murphy 5&3 in a match where he notched up five birdies.
Lorenzo Filippo Scalise and Frederic Lacroix extended their team’s advantage to three points after securing wins in their matches against Nick Poppleton (5&4) and Gian-Marco Petrozzi (4&2) to leave the Continent of Europe 12-9 in front.
Scalise delivered a bogey-free performance which included four birdies, while Lacroix went on a run of five birdies in six holes from the 10th and eventually closed the match out against the Englishman on the16th hole.
It was left to Angel Hidalgo Portillo to clinch the vital point for the Continent of Europe and the Spaniard narrowly beat Todd Clements by one hole to give the home side an unassailable 13-9 lead.
Italy’s Stefano Mazzoli was in blistering form in his match against David Hague, posting no less than eight birdies in a 3&2 success. Marc Hammer and Mitch Waite halved their match shortly after.
Matias Honkala, who holds the course record at Linna Golf (64), completed the Continent of Europe’s record win after overcoming Conor Purcell by two holes.
In this morning’s foursomes, Honkala and Valimaki claimed the Continent of Europe’s first point of the second day with a 4&3 win against Jordan and Petrozzi.
Mazzoli and Scalise defeated Hague and Purcell by the same scoreline, which was quickly followed by Hidalgo Portillo and Lacroix defeating Poppleton and Waite 3&2 to give the hosts three points.
Dawson and Murphy managed to rescue the remaining point from their foursomes match against Hammer and Nilehn after making birdies on the 15th and 18th to win by two holes.
The 2020 St Andrews Trophy match will take place at Royal Porthcawl from 23–24 July.