Asia-Pacific got the better of day one against the top men and women amateur golfers from Europe in both the Bonallack and Patsy Hankins Trophies as the prestigious tournaments got underway in Doha.
Ireland is represented in both competitions with Lisburn’s Paula Grant the sole representative on the Patsy Hankins select while Tramore’s Robin Dawson is the only Irishman on the Bonallack team.
It was Dawson who fared the better from an Irish point of view as both he and German, Marc Hammer, put Europe’s first point on the board with victory over Lloyd Jefferson Go and Rayhan Thomas in the morning foursomes.
Team Europe took the morning session 3-2 with Dawson stood down in favour of rotation for the afternoon fourballs. However Europe struggled in the longer format, going down 3½ to 1½ against a rejuvenated home side.
Asia-Pacific take a 5½ to 4½ lead into day two tomorrow.
Patsy Hankins Trophy
In the women’s event, Asia-Pacific proved much more dominant in a frustrating day for Team Europe at Doha Golf Club.
Lisburn’s Grant sat out the morning foursomes with the likes of her conqueror at the Spanish Amateur last week, Swede Frida Kinhult, playing in her stead.
Europe lost the first match in a heavy 6&5 defeat and that set the tone for a day of red on the scoreboard. The next three matches were halved, including Kinhult’s, but Asia-Pacific took the crucial last match of the morning 1UP to take the session 3½ to 1½.
Grant took her chance in the afternoon fourballs alongside Englishwoman Isobel Wardle but their efforts proved powerless against some fierce home momentum.
Grant and Wardle went down 3&1 in their respective match as Europe lost the first four games in the afternoon. It wasn’t until Italian Bianca Fabrizio and Spaniard Bianca Garcia-Poggio took down Chinese pairing Wenbo Liu and Du Mohan that there was any sign of blue on the board at all.
But that smurf-sized smidgen of hope is more than enough for Team Europe to take into tomorrow, albeit trailing their Asia-Pacific opponents 7½ to 2½.
Tomorrow will again consist of five foursomes matches in the morning and five four-ball matches in the afternoon for both competitions. On the final day, all twelve team players compete in singles match play.
In the event of a tie, the trophy will be retained by the holders. That honour belongs to Europe in the Bonallack while Asia-Pacific hold the Patsy Hankins Trophy.
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