England swept away the competition at the European Nations Championship at Sotogrande, Spain, winning the trophy by 20 shots, while national champion Todd Clements took the individual title by five strokes.
The England team alongside Clements, of Braintree, Essex, was: joint runner-up Gian-Marco Petrozzi of Trentham, Staffordshire; Matthew Jordan of Royal Liverpool, Cheshire; and David Hague of Malton & Norton, Yorkshire.
They staked their claim to the trophy with a blistering first day when their best three scores totalled seven-under par and they led by 11 shots.
After that they were relentless in maintaining the pressure, despite the tricky, windy conditions. The team led by 21 at the halfway stage; by 15 after three rounds; then they underlined their domination in the final round with a team total of 10-under par.
The finished on 11-under, while their closest challengers, Ireland, were nine-over. Denmark, in third place, were 16 over.
Clements, the English amateur champion, was in contention for the individual prize throughout the championship, jockeying for position with Petrozzi over the opening two rounds.
Clements opened up a three-shot lead after three round and, with a final round of 70, finished on five-under par. Petrozzi tied second on level par alongside Ireland’s Alex Neeson and Denmark’s Rasmus Neergard-Petersen.
England Golf’s Gareth Jenkins was team manager and paid tribute to the players’ scoring skills and the preparation masterminded by coach Graham Walker.
“The team was just fabulous in the way they dominated,” he said.
“We had two outstanding days of preparation. Graham has been here many times, he’s very experienced and knows how conditions can become very tricky. We had a very good strategy of hitting into zones and it was absolutely spot on.
“The boys followed through and they played magnificently. They came into it really well prepared, able to control the ball flight and their short game was outstanding.”
The championship was contested by 16 countries and this is England’s seventh win. Previous victories were scored in 2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2004.
Caption (from left): David Hague, Todd Clements in his winner’s jacket, Gian-Marco Petrozzi and Matthew Jordan.
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