England seek title double in European Nations Championships

Nathan Kimsey

Nathan Kimsey, who secured a hat-trick of runners-up spots during the recent tour of Australia, has been named in a strong England men’s team that will aim to regain the European Nations Championship at Sotogrande Golf Club in Spain on 13th – 16th March.

The men’s title was lost last year after three successive victories while the England women’s team are attempting to lift the title for the first time over the same course on the same days with a line-up that includes Georgia Hall, who won two gold medals at the recent Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Joining Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire), who will turn 20 just after the event, will be Max Orrin (North Foreland, Kent), Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex). Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak, Dorset), Bronte Law (Bramhall, Cheshire), and Alex Peters (Notts’ Ladies) make up the women’s team with Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro, Cornwall) as reserve.

Kimsey’s (image Copyright Tom Ward) three second places came within a fortnight in the Lake Macquarie International, the New South Wales Medal and the Avondale Medal. These successes followed a successful 2012 in which he achieved a string of top-ten finishes, winning the Darwin Salver, finishing third in the South East of England Links Championship, sixth in the Dutch Junior Open, reaching the semi-finals of the English Amateur and earning his first full England cap.

Orrin, 18, won the Titleist/FootJoy England Boys Order of Merit last year after winning the Thunderbird International Junior title in Arizona, finishing runner-up in the Darwin Salver, the McEvoy Trophy, the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Duke of York Young Champions event. He also finished third in the England under 18 Championship for the Carris Trophy in which he won the Malcolm Reid Salver for the best Aggregate over the McEvoy and Carris Trophies.

Porteous, 23, was also a member of the party that toured Australia earlier this year, finishing third in the New South Wales Medal and tied sixth in the Masters of the Amateurs. A full England international for the past two years, he also represented England in the Eisenhower Trophy and GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy in 2012. He was also capped at under 16 level before attending the University of Tennessee.

Tree, 18, has just completed another successful spell in South Africa during which he won the Gauteng North Open for the second successive year, helped England finish third in the Ten Nations Cup, and reached the last 16 of the South African Amateur Championship. In 2012, he made his full England debut against France and also played in the European Boys Team Championships and the Boys Home Internationals and represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy. He was also a quarter finalist in the Amateur Championship.

Georgia Hall, 16, is the European No.1 women’s amateur and is ranked fifth in the world. She is the British girls’ champion and beside the two gold medals in Australia, she has been invited to play in the first women’s Major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California in April.

Bronte Law, 17, was a member of the GB&I team which won the Curtis Cup in 2012 – for the first time in 16 years. She qualified for last season’s Women’s British Open and successfully made the cut, eventually finishing in a share of 33rd place. She represented Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup and was runner-up in last year’s French Lady Junior Championship.

Alex Peters, 19, is the English women’s stroke play champion and, like Georgia and Bronte, was a member of England’s winning team at the women’s Home Internationals. Last season she also won the Independent Schools’ championship, the Nottinghamshire ladies’ title and shared the Porters Park Centenary Cup. She represented England in the South American Amateur early this year.

The European Nations Championship is competed for over 72 holes of stroke play with the best three cards each day in the men’s event and the best two from three in the women’s, counting towards the team event. An individual competition runs simultaneously with the Nations Championship, the champion collecting a trophy and the Amateur Masters Jacket. If either of the Championships ends in a tie, the teams involved nominate one player to compete in a sudden death playoff.