England’s men tee up Nations Cup bid

England Golf has named a strong four-man team to take part in this year’s European Nations Cup at Sotogrande in Spain.

The championship will take place at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande from 30 March-2 April.

Brabazon Trophy winner Sam Bairstow (main image), reigning English and Spanish Men’s Amateur champion John Gough (pictured bottom) and England men’s squad players Zach Chegwidden and Olly Huggins will fly the flag at the prestigious event in southern Spain.

England boasts a proud record at the event which features the best amateur golfers from around Europe taking part in both individual and team competitions.

The last time England took part in the Nations Cup was in 2019. On that occasion Tom Sloman won the individual title and joined forces with Tom Plumb, Bailey Gill and Ben Jones to win the team crown  (pictured below).

Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s performance director and himself a winner of the individual event in 2006, will lead the team to Spain alongside selector Paul Williams.

“This has always been a key event in the amateur calendar,” admitted Edwards.

“We’re delighted to be able to send a strong England team to compete in it once again after two years disruption because of COVID-19.

“There is a strong tradition of English success at Sotogrande where a superb course seems to bring out the best in our players.

“I look forward to watching our men compete for success as individuals and as a team as they look to capitalise on all the hard work that has been put in over the winter.”

In total, England has enjoyed 11 victories in the team event known as the Sherry Cup from its inception in 1998 and then, from 2007, in its present guise of the Nations Cup.

Six Englishmen have walked off with top prize in the individual event which has been staged at Sotogrande since 1970.

As well as Sloman, Todd Clements (2018), Sam Hutsby (2009), John Marks (1984), Gary Wolstenholme (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005) and Henric Adam (1970) have emerged as individual winners.

Other winners include some of the modern-day greats of the professional game such as Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.