Bild Information: Rain from above and from the side: Santeri Lehesmaa tries to find temporary shelter, as he prepares for his stroke into the sixteenth green. (Foto: DGV/ Tiess)

Let there be rain

EATC 2018
 

In a completely rain-soaked match play day, Finland, Germany, Denmark and England advance to the half finals of the European Amateur Team Championship

Bad Saarow - Rain pounded the A-ROSA Scharmützelsee golf resort throughout the day, but even though some of the fairways turned into puddles, the matches were able to continue as planned. The eight top teams of flight A started the game day with two foursomes each. The five singles per match were to start in the afternoon. In between, the teams of flight B played their matches with one foursome and four singles.

Sweden - Finland

The first results in flight A may have been a surprise to many. Finland, who finished the qualifiying in eighth place, took on the strong Swedish team, who was the winner of the stroke play qualification. Mikail Mustonen from the Finnish team said yesterday, that „we have nothing to lose“. And this is exactly, how they played. The foursomes came out tied, yet in the singles the Finns were able to take three points off the Tre-Kronor team, including an impressive 5&4 win of Matias Honkala against Tim Widing.

But not all the matches between the two nordic countries came to an early end. The closest duel broke out between Veeti Mähönen and Ludvig Aberg, who fought over their point for a marathonish 22 holes! In the end Finland wins 4:3 over Sweden, crushing Swedish hopes for the title right on the first day of match play.

Germany - Spain

The second match took place between Germany and Spain. Both foursomes were decided on the fifteenth hole, with one point for each of the teams. All of the singles were contested for at least 17 holes, although the Germans added drama by dropping several holes in the late phase of the game.

Hurly Long had the chance to go 3up on hole number fifteen, however he missed his birdie putt and then horseshoed his par-putt, thus handing the hole to Spaniard Manuel Elvira and bringing the game to a close 1up. In the end Long managed to win the seventeenth hole and secure the point with 2&1. Another drama occurred in the very last single pairing.

Michael Hirmer, who had been 5up against Alejandro del Rey until the twelfth hole, saw his comfortable lead diminishing hole by hole, as del Rey decided to fight back ferociously. The Spanish player was able to force Hirmer all the way onto the eighteenth, yet the German held on to his marginal one-hole lead and secured the winning point for his team. Germany wins over Spain with 4:3 and advances to the half finals.

Denmark - Scotland

In the third match of the quarter finals, the Danes were able to win both foursomes against their Scottish opponent, thus handing out quite a mortgage for the afternoon session. In this situation, the Scots could afford to lose only one of the oncoming singles - with a very strong and well motivated Danish team prepared to fight for each one of those points. The first single did send a message of hope to the Scots, when Ryan Lumsden was able to secure his point by 3&2 against the strong John Axelsen.

After that though, things got worse for Scotland, as Nicolai Hojgaard went 4&2 on Jamie Stewart. Then once again Euan Walker cut the Danish lead short by winning 3&1 against Andreas Hillersborg Sorensen. Veteran Euan McIntosh however was trailing significantly and running out of holes to play for. He had to hand his point to Morten Toft Hansen, who won 4&3. The Danish victory was secured 4,5:2,5 and Scotland drops out of contention for the title.

England - France

The fourth quarter-final pairing saw England and France. The match however was anything but a close face-off, as England manages to wrap up the early foursomes for an early 2:0 lead. And even though the points for the singles were all fought for until the seventeenth or eighteenth hole, the French squad was not able to capitalize.

Already the first two of the five singles had to be handed over to team England, deciding the outcome of this game. Meanwhile Todd Clements closed his single against Victor Veyret with 2&1. The two other parties were halved subsequently. The result reads 6:1.

Flight B

In flight B Irland beats Serbia with a decisive 5:0. Iceland is able to snatch victory against Italy by winning closely fought matches and a resulting 3:2. The Netherlands carry away an impressive victory against Portugal, by winning all four singles and halving the foursome for a 4,5:0,5.

And, in the fourth match of flight B, the Czech Republic wins over Austria with a stunning 4,5:0,5. Tomorrows’ half finals will be held between Finland and Germany as well as Denmark and England. The second day of match play will start at 07:30 o’ clock from the first tee of the Faldo golf course.

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