Thursday, August 11, 2016

Men's Home Internationals

England 8.5, Scotland 6.5 and Ireland beat 

Wales 8-7 on Day 1 at Nairn

There was pain in the rain for hosts Scotland on day one of the Fairstone Men’s Home Internationals at The Nairn Golf Club, as England won a tight ‘auld enemy’ battle to join defending champions Ireland as winners on the opening day.
After the early Highland sunshine gave way to steady drizzle, it was the visitors who still managed to shine as they edged to an 
8.5 – 6.5 victory over the Scots, the reigning European Amateur Team champions.
With the foursomes shared in the morning – thanks in part to Barry Hume’s superb 45-foot eagle putt on the closing green – the singles went England’s way, after key one-hole wins for Adam Chapman and Dan Brown over Graeme Robertson and Craig Ross, while Ashton Turner also took out home member Sandy Scott 5 and 3.

View scores Day 1 at Fairstone Men’s Home Internationals

Craig Howie, Liam Johnston and Matthew Clark all replied with emphatic triumphs for the Scots, but Marco Penge won the final game on the course, 2 and 1 over Jamie Savage, to seal victory. It was more Highland success for Penge, given he won last year’s Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play at Lossiemouth
Scottish Golf’s National Coach Ian Rae said: “It was really tight at the end. We had a few games down, and they could then have gone either way. Craig and Graeme both lost down the last. It was tough all day, but there were some great performances there and some really good golf.
“Credit to England, they guys played well. The four teams are really closely matched, you have got no God-given right to win any game this week, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
England could reflect on a job well done, given the difficult conditions. “It wasn’t as tough as it could have been, and I’ve played in a lot heavier rain this year so far,” admitted Turner, after his win over local Scott.
“It was good fun this afternoon, obviously as expected the crowds were a little bit against me, but I tried to put that out of my mind and it was nice to get a point for the team. We’re trying to prise the trophy away from Irish hands so hopefully this will be the year for England.”
Ireland, meanwhile, bidding for a hat-trick of Home Internationals titles, held firm to also edge a close match with Wales, 8 – 7. Conor Purcell’s one-hole victory over Jack Davidson ultimately proved decisive.
Stuart Grehan and Paul McBride put early afternoon points on the board for Ireland in the singles, after they had won the morning foursomes 3 – 2.
With Tiarnan McLarnon also securing a comfortable 6 and 4 success over Ben Chamberlain, the Irish were in full control only for Wales to win the last four games to give them a real scare.
Thursday's  matches see Scotland take on Ireland and England up against Wales, with the destination of the Raymond Trophy still very much up for grabs.
While some GB and I players are absent this week having qualified inside the world’s top 50 for the US Amateur Championship, the Highland venue is still hosting a golfing feast… so,iif you live anywhere near Nairn, come along and enjoy the action free of charge.



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