Friday, December 12, 2014


               Left to right: Gareth Wright, Graeme Brown and Graham Fox with the trophy.



Scotland maintained their dominance of the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship at Gloria Golf Club in Turkey to claim the trophy for the second time in three years.

But after laying the foundations for victory with high-octane displays in the first two rounds, the Tartan Tour trio’s journey to their inevitable coronation was comparatively sedate.

Ten strokes clear of the 22-strong field in pursuit of the €6,000 first 
prize at the start of the final round, that was their margin of victory at the end of it.

Having set the standard and the pace with rounds of 12-under and nine under, the Scots’ final return of four-under was matched by the Irish trio of Michael McDermott, Brendan McGovern and Damian Mooney who claimed second place.
Moreover, it was improved on by Italy who posted a round of five-under to finish tied fourth with Germany, a stroke behind Sweden.
Once again, however, it was a Scot who produced the best individual performance of the day.
Having played a supporting role to team captain Graham Fox thus far, Gareth Wright claimed the spotlight, not least over the final five holes.
Wright, who played in all four rounds of the Open at Muirfield the summer before last, went birdie, birdie, par, birdie before signing off with an eagle at the par five 18th.
He did so courtesy of a prodigious drive followed by a sensational approach that left him with a three-foot putt to card a five-under-par round of 67 and finish eight-under for the tournament.
Scotland has now won the event eight times and Wright has been party to two of them.
“I really enjoy this tournament,” said Welshman Wright, a member of the team that won in Portugal two years ago. “It’s a great event and great to come to come to a new venue. It’s a fantastic facility and the weather was brilliant today and yesterday. It was nice to come out and get the win.”
Fox, meanwhile was one of the three who finished runner up behind Holland last year and clearly enjoys a format that sees the best two of three scores counting.
Having finished as the joint-leading individual last year with Holland’s Ralph Miller, his three-round total of 16-under put him three strokes clear of Sweden’s Magnus Atlevi and the sole occupant of pole position.
“It’s a great environment to play in and they’re great guys to play with,” he said. “We gel well as a team.”
For Brown, by contrast, the event was a new experience but one he wants to repeat.
“I loved it,” he said. “I could have been at home digging snow out of my driveway so I’m more than happy to be out here playing golf with these guys.
“It’s a big incentive to try and make the team next year and return.”

Leading scores:
25-under: Scotland
15-under: Ireland
14-under: Sweden
13-under: Italy, Germany
10-under: Holland
9-under: England.

IMAGE CAPTION: 2014 International Team Champions Scotland – [L-R] Gareth Wright, Graeme Brown, and Graham Fox [Image: Adrian Milledge]



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