Maria Dunne’s GB&I battle back to within one at Vagliano Trophy

Beth Coulter - Image courtesy of ASU

The Continent of Europe holds a 6 ½ – 5 ½ lead heading into the final day of the Vagliano Trophy in Royal Dornoch.

It could just easily be the other way around. Indeed, no one in attendance would have been surprised if the opening day had finished six points apiece, even if GB&I lost the opening foursomes session 3-1.

“If someone had told me we’d trail by just a point at the end of the day after losing the singles 3-1, I’d have snapped their hand off,” said GB&I Captain Maria Dunne after her side bounced back to ensure an exciting final day by winning the singles 4 ½ – 3 ½.


“This afternoon was fantastic, but I just knew the girls were going to come out fighting because they were a bit down after the foursomes. I know they felt disappointed in the morning because we went down 18 twice and results didn’t go in our favour. So they were pulling to get their points this afternoon and they did.”

Ireland’s Beth Coulter led the comeback with a 2&1 win over Belgium’s Savannah de Bock. Hannah Darling notched a valuable half against world amateur number one Ingrid Lindblad, while Ireland’s Caley McGinty defeated world number three Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio by one hole to give GB&I two-and-half points out of the first three matches. 

Rosie Belsham won her match one up over Spaniard Rocio Tejedo, with Aine Donegan of Ireland and England’s Charlotte Heath chipping in half points each against Meja Ortengren and Julia Lopez Ramirez. Only Scotland’s Lorna McClymont and Lottie Woad failed to contribute in the afternoon.

The parity between the two teams showed with eight of the 12 contests going to the 18th hole. Germany’s Helen Briem was the only player from either team to win two points out of two.

“It’s actually a putting competition at the end of the day because the margins are so fine,” Dunne said. “It comes down to a putt here and there that can make the difference.” 

Dunne’s team may trail, but the Irishwoman feels her team is in the ascendancy. 

“The girls learned a lot from today and there’s a buzz in our team room,” she added. “I’m excited about tomorrow. Winning the singles absolutely gave us momentum and it’ll be all guns blazing tomorrow. I think the luck is going to go our way and the putts are going to drop.” 

The Junior Vagliano Trophy is set for an enthralling finish too. Just one point also separates the two junior sides, with Europe leading 5-4. In a flip of the senior match, GB&I won the opening foursomes session 2-1, with the Continent of Europe fighting back to take the singles 4-2.

It’s not just Urchegui Garcia who’s nervous but excited. Everyone in attendance at Royal Dornoch can attest to that.



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