Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Iceland impress on Day One at Gleneagles
Tournament: European Golf Team Championships
Venue: Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Scotland
Prize fund: €1,100,000
Hashtag: #EC2018
GettyImages-1013208818
The images of the PGA Centenary Course, Glenealges must be credited to Getty Images and used in conjunction with this release only. Please click on image to download a high-resolution version. 
Day One report
Iceland stole the limelight on Day One of the European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles, requiring just 13 holes to see off Belgium in Group D.
Birgir Hafthorsson and Axel Boasson won six holes without reply in the day's final match at on the PGA Centenary Course to beat Christopher Mivis and Lars Buijs 6 and 5.
Norway, meanwhile, were convincing winners in Group D's other match, with Jarand Ekeland Arnoy and Kristian Krogh Johannessen beating Italy 1's Lorenzo Gagli and Guido Migliozzi 4 and 3.
On the opening day of the group stage event, where players represented their countries in a match play format with 16 teams of two players competing in both the Men’s and Women’s group stages, Sweden 2 team beat countrymen Johan Edfors and Per Langfors of Sweden 1 by one hole in their opening fourball match play Group A clash to storm to the top of the table.
The other match in their group was halved after Spain 2's Santiago Tarrio Ben and David Borda overturned a three-hole deficit in the last six holes of their match against Great Britain 1’s Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery to grab a share of the spoils.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Great Britain 3’s Liam Johnston and Connor Syme, both Scots,  and Italy 2’s Francesco Laporta and Alessandro Tadini in Group B. Spanish duo Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez were 2 and 1 winners against Portugal in Group C, courtesy of back-to-back birdies from Oriol on the back nine.
In the other game in that group, Poland's Adrian Meronk and Mateusz Gradecki beat Denmark pair Martin Ovesen and Niklas Norgaard Møller by a single hole to secure two points.
In the Women’s group stage, Great Britain 1 of Dame Laura Davies and Georgia Hall got off to a winning start, 5 and 4 against Spain in Group A. In Group D, Sweden 3 also claimed a big victory, 5 and 4, over Norway.
Player quotes
Birgir Hafthorsson: “It's always an honour to represent your country, especially as a pro. It's really nice to play match play as well.
“We had a good start and we had a lot of chances. We made a couple of putts which was nice.
“Axel is a big hitter, so I let him go for it. It worked out today and we will try and keep it going.”
Lee Slattery: “We kept hitting good golf shots, which is what we did all day. The only difference was I had a three-putt at the wrong time in the match. We were 3UP at the time and I let them get back in, and then they held several great putts on top of that and managed to get back in the match. We didn’t do much wrong, but it just shows how important it is to hold the putts when you really need to hold them.
“Match play is different, and I was almost a bit nervous out there at times compared to a stroke play event. You don’t want to let the other guy down. If I miss a putt I look at Callum and think ‘that was terrible, he’s not going to like that’.
“There are a lot of great players here this week. Although they might not be in-from at the minute, and Callum and I have played the best over the last year, there are still a lot of players here that I recognise, played with and have seen them shoot low scores. It’s a dog fight and anyone can win.”
Francesco Laporta: “We played very good golf over the first nine holes, where we were 4UP or 5UP after nine holes. We struggled a bit on the second nine, as the conditions were very tough. It was very windy, and the greens were very difficult, so it wasn’t easy to stop the ball on the greens. We finished 2UP and we are both very happy about that result.
“It’s amazing to play at Gleneagles. It’s the first time I’ve come here to play on The Ryder Cup course – one of the best courses Scotland. It’s just amazing. The course is in perfect shape, everything is perfect, the organisation is perfect, and I think we will enjoy this week.
“It wasn’t easy, especially on the par five 16, which was playing very long today. 15 and 14 were very tough par fours. The conditions were not easy but when you play match play it isn’t easy for both teams.”
Download the final standings after Day One here: EUROPEAN GOLF TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS - GROUP STAGE DAY ONE RESULTS

And the match schedule for Day Two can be found here: EUROPEAN GOLF TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS - GROUP STAGE DAY TWO SCHEDULE

DAVIES and HALL set the pace for Britain on golf's opening day
GLASGOW - Britain's pre-tournament favourites Laura DAVIES and Georgia HALL sent out a powerful message to the rest of the field on the opening day of the women's team event at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course on Wednesday.
The duo were first to tee off in the tournament and the first to return to the clubhouse after their 5&4 victory over Spain's Noemi JIMENEZ and Silvia BANON in Group A of the round robin.
The two recently-crowned champions proved to be the ideal partnership, with the experienced DAVIES leading them home with some inspired golf.
New US Senior Open champion DAVIES carded six birdies to win four of the holes and new British Open champion HALL weighed in with three birdies.
"Nine birdies and five pars - that's enough to win most matches," DAVIES said."They played well but we didn't give them too many chances. But it's only one match and we have to keep up that standard."
The two French teams dominated group B. Celia HERBIN and Astrid VAYSON DE PRADENNE were winners by 4&3 against Germany's Olivia COWAN and Karolin LAMPERT, and Justine DREHER and Manon MOLLE defeated Sweden's Johanna GUSTAVSSON and Julia ENGSTROM 2&1. The France pairings now face each other on Wednesday.
The only problem for DREHER and MOLLE was the changeable Gleneagles weather. "It's strange wearing so many layers in August," said DREHER. "For the last six months we have been wearing shirts and shorts." 
Britain also came through the first day powerfully in groups C and D. Meghan MacLAREN and Michele THOMSON won 5&4 against Iceland's Olafia KRISTINSDOTTIR and Valdis Thora JONSDOTTIR, and Catriona MATTHEW and Holly CLYBURN beat Sweden's Emma NILSSON and Lina BOQVIST 3&2.



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