The Continent of Europe has defeated Great Britain and Ireland 16½-8½ to win the Jacques Léglise Trophy at Falsterbo Golf Club in Sweden.
Leading GB&I 6½-5½ after the first day of play, the Continent of Europe strengthened its position by winning three and halving one of the four morning foursomes matches to provide the hosts with a four-point advantage at 10-6 ahead of this afternoon’s singles matches.
Joachim Fourquet’s side then picked up six and a half points of the nine available in the afternoon singles to seal their second win on the bounce in the boys’ international match after triumphing 15½-9½ at Aldeburgh in 2019, the last time it was played.
“I feel very proud and happy,” said Fourquet. “I think the morning foursomes were key and we played really well. To win the early matches this afternoon was also important.
“My players were in very good form and we gelled well as a team. They know how to play golf. To win the trophy for a second time running is great and captaining the Continent of Europe is one of the most special things to do.”
In the morning’s foursomes, Oiha Guillamoundeguy and Riccardo Fantinelli set the tone with a 3&2 win against the Scottish pairing of Cameron Adam and Ruben Lindsay, while Italian duo Marco Florioli and Flavio Michetti were in impressive form on their way to a 4&3 success against Archie Finnie and Joshua Hill.
Daniel Svard and Tim Wiedemeyer picked up a third point for the Continent of Europe after beating Daniel Bullen and Harley Smith 2&1, but GB&I salvaged a halve from the session after Jack Bigham and Josh Hill shared the spoils with German double act Tiger Christensen and Yannick Malik.
Christensen kicked off the afternoon singles in style for the Continent of Europe with a thumping 7&6 defeat of Boys’ Amateur champion Bigham to make it 11-6. Fantinelli, runner-up to the English international at Royal Cinque Ports earlier this month, edged his side closer to victory by comfortably beating Lindsay 3&2 to claim another point.
Michetti’s comprehensive 5&4 win over Connor Graham proved to be the clincher for the Continent of Europe, with the hosts moving into an unassailable 13-6 lead to ensure it keeps hold of the trophy won in England two years ago.
Smith pulled a point back for GB&I shortly after with a narrow one hole win over Malik, but Guillamoundeguy restored the seven-point cushion after beating Josh Hill by the same scoreline to make it 14-7.
GB&I playing captain Adam managed to win a point in his match against Svard, only for Wiedemeyer to return a 2&1 victory against his compatriot Archie Finnie.
Jaime Montojo and Joshua Hill, Ireland’s sole representative, finished all-square, which left Marco Florioli to round off a very successful two days for the Continent of Europe with a 2&1 win over Bullen, leaving the final score 16½-8½.
“The foursomes were the difference today and to take one half point isn’t good enough,” said GB&I Captain Adam. “You put yourself on the back foot and it’s difficult to come back from there. We showed a lot of courage to win some points in the singles and put a performance in. I’m proud of the team and there were some good individual performances. The boys really enjoyed it despite the result. There was good golf out there and we have a young team. I think this team will be back fighting again for the trophy next year.”
The victory marks the 14th time that the Continent of Europe has won the Jacques Léglise Trophy since the boys’ international match between the two teams was rejuvenated in 1977.
The 2022 Jacques Léglise Trophy will be played at Blairgowrie in Scotland from 26-27 August when it is held alongside the Junior Vagliano Trophy at the Perthshire venue.
Full scores from the match can be found here