The Continent of Europe has won the 2023 Jacques Léglise Trophy in France, their fourth consecutive victory over Great Britain & Ireland in the match.
Heading into the final day with a three-point deficit, the visitors needed a fast start at Golf de Chantilly and they got one. The GB&I team went up in all of the first three foursomes matches after two holes and looked like they might close the gap to their opponents ahead of the final singles session.
However, the Spanish duo of Marcel Fonseca Aguilar and Jorge Siyuan Hao were one-down after five against England’s Hugh Adams and Monty Holcombe, but three birdies in fives holes quickly turned the match, and the session, around.
A final birdie on the 14th secured a 5&4 win and the first point of the day for the Europeans.
A second point closely followed. Despite being down in the match until the 15th, Hugo Le Goff (FRA) and Lev Grinberg (UKR) won three holes in a row against Ireland’s Sean Keeling and Jack Murphy to claim a second point for Europe on the 17th green.
England’s Dylan Shaw-Radford and Kris Kim took the upper-hand in match number three, defeating Swedish duo, Simon Hovdal and Filip Fahlberg-Johnsson to secure the first point of the day for the visitors.
The session looked set for a 2-2 tie with Niall Sheils Donegan of Scotland and Donnacha Cleary of Ireland two-up in the final contest with two to play.
But a missed opportunity on the 17th and a costly mistake on the 18th enabled Germans Tim Wiedemeyer and Peer Wernicke to halve the match, a result that widened the gap between the two teams to four points going into the nine afternoon singles.
The Continent of Europe entered the last session needing only three points to secure the Jacques Léglise Trophy.
Hovdal set the tone early in match number two beating Adams 5&4 with a birdie on the 14th.
It looked like the decisive winning point would come from one of the top contests with many Europeans leading their matches.
Fahlberg-Johnsson’s win against GB&I captain, Shaw-Radford on the 17th came simultaneously with Fonseca Aguilar’s success on the 15th green against Cleary guaranteeing the Jacques Léglise trophy stayed in the Continent of Europe’s possession for one more year.
The Continent of Europe’s win marks a record-extending fourth straight victory for the team, all conquered under the captaincy of France’s Joachim Fourquet, who is a member of Golf de Chantilly and competed in the Jacques Léglise Trophy at the venue in 2001.
Halved matches from Louis Anceaux (FRA) and Wernicke, as well as further wins from Hao, Wiedemeyer, Le Goff and Grinberg meant the Continent of Europe team won all four remaining sessions at Golf de Chantilly, leaving the final score at 17-8.
Germany’s Tim Wiedemeyer has become the first ever Continent of Europe player to win the Jacques Léglise Trophy three times scoring an impressive nine points out of 12 in his three appearances for the side.
Lev Grinberg officially became the first player from Ukraine to compete in the match on Friday, and with a perfect record from three matches this week, is also the first Ukrainian player to lift the trophy.
Sweden’s Simon Hovdal finished the week tied with Grinberg for highest point scorer, also taking three points from his matches.
The Continent of Europe team will look for a fifth straight victory in the match next year, but will have to do so on Great Britain & Ireland’s home soil with the 2024 Jacques Léglise Trophy set to take place at West Lancashire Golf Club.