England’s debutants in the European Team Championship and Nations Cup for golfers with disability staged in Belgium last week have been praised for achieving podium finishes.
Playing at Koksijde Golf ter Hille Golf Club in Flanders over three days, and in tough weather conditions, England finished third in the Team Championship and took silver in the Nations Cup.
The events marked the first time that England Golf has selected and supported teams on the international stage.
“I would like to congratulate both teams on their achievements,” said Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s performance director
“Every player contributed to their team’s final position and it is always great when your efforts are rewarded with podium finishes.
“I would also like to thank the team management, Rob Kedzlie, Craig Thomas and Robert Heathcote, who volunteered their time to provide the platform for the players to go and perform.”
After a solid first day, where Brad Smith and Aimi Bullock shot a three-over par round of 75 to be the joint leading pair in the foursomes, Andy Gardiner and Tom Beard produced a one-under par 71 in the day two greensomes to maintain third place for England heading into the singles matches.
As Spain and France pressed to close the gap on the front nine during the singles matches, the England team produced on the back nine.
Brad Smith shot 39 to add to his 37 on the front to record a four-over par 76 and Andy Gardiner posted a 34 on the back nine to finish two-over par on 74.
Ireland took the win with an impressive push during the second day, followed up with some low scores in the singles.
The Irish edged out the 2019 champions Sweden, with England finishing third on a challenging course with some tough pin positions.
In the Nations Cup, the strong wind had picked up as the players teed off in the foursomes, with Johnny Reay and Heather Gilks coming from a 15 point front nine to match the other England partnership by recording 33 points at the end of the round.
The same partnerships headed out for the day two greensomes and both produced improved performances to record a team score of 81 points. Martine Gilks and George Blackshaw carded 42 points.
Day three brought consistent performances all round and meant that England was never in real danger of relinquishing the second place held since day one, finishing with a total of 240 points.
Belgium took the win with Italy moving up past the Czech Republic in the final singles matches to secure third spot.
European Team Championship for Golfers with Disability
- Tom Beard – Druids Heath
- Aimi Bullock – Bletchingley
- Andrew Gardiner (main image) – Witney Lakes
- Bradley Smith – Royal Cromer
European Nations Cup for Golfers with Disability
- George Blackshaw – Delamere Forest
- Heather Gilks – Coventry
- Martine Gilks – Coventry
- Johnny Reay – Stoneleigh Deer Park