European Team Championships – Day One: England off to flying start

England teams are well placed to make progress into the match play stages of all four European Championships after day one of the competition.

At four venues across Europe – in England, Wales, Germany and Iceland – the cream of English amateur talent has been on show – and shone.

Day One Highlights

  • Harley Smith fired a flawless round of 66 as the boys blazed a trail to top the table in Germany
  • Olivia Lee – playing with borrowed clubs – was a star for the girls in Iceland
  • Rosie Belsham and Amelia Williamson posted level par rounds to keep the women’s title defence on track in Wales
  • Arron Edwards-Hill’s brilliant 67 showed the way for the men on the fiery links of Royal St George’s

 

To discover the leaderboards, click on the heading for each event.

 

England’s Boys

England’s boys spent the night before this event being entertained by a magician who produced doves and parrots out of thin air.

Thankfully, the boys were able to conjure up plenty of birdies of their own when the action began for real at Golf Club St Leon-Rot.

The opening ceremony at the schloss in Heidelberg was certainly spectacular, but so was the play of the England team on day one of the stroke play.

Harley Smith got the ball rolling when he carded six birdies and no bogeys in a flawless round of 66.

The Essex golfer was followed home by Yorkshire’s Dylan Shaw-Radford who fired off six birdies of his own and only two dropped shots as he signed for a four under par score of 68.

Tyler Weaver, recently-crowned English Under 18 champion, nailed two birdies and an eagle on his way to a three under par round of 69.

After the morning wave of players, England held a commanding lead.

But with five scores out of six to count for the team tally, there was work to do for the afternoon trio of players.

Josh Berry found five birdies in his round of 70 for two under par.

And Frank Kennedy matched that total when he also shot a round of 70 featuring four birdies to leave England out in front with a team total of -17. That was seven shots clear of Sweden and Czech Republic in second spot.

England’s Girls

Olivia Lee showed the strength of character that’s needed to win European titles when she fired a level par round using borrowed clubs.

The golfer (pictured below) from Gerrards Cross was another blameless victim of the baggage lottery that currently blights all UK air travellers. Three days after arriving in Iceland, her clubs are still to make the journey.

Lee simply got on with the job in hand and her level par round may well go down as one of the best from ANY of the 528 golfers representing 29 nations at this week’s European team events!

Ellen Yates set the tone for the day when she was first to post a score in red figures as England went on to top the standings at Oddur Golf Club.

A round of 70 featuring four birdies put Yates on one-under par and gave the team-mates that followed something at which to aim.

Patience Rhodes followed Yates home with a steady one-over par round of 72 featuring one birdie and just two bogeys on a course carved out of volcanic rock.

The other counting scores on another grey and damp day in the north Atlantic came from Rachel Gourley (73) and Maggie Whitehead (75).

England’s Men

Arron Edwards-Hill (pictured below) tamed the fiery links of Royal St George’s to lead the way for England with a round of 67.

The three-under par tally matched the best score of the day around the famous Open Championship venue and was rich reward for Edwards-Hill’s clever course management.

The Chelmsford golfer was in complete control of his ball flight amid gusty conditions and five birdies on the sloping greens was no mean feat.

“I just played steadily all day and hardly missed a green which helps around here,” added Edwards-Hill.

Sam Bairstow was the last of England’s six-man team to post a score – but his level par round helped boost the team tally.

John Gough struck the first tee shot of the championship and battled back well after a double bogey, bogey finish to the front nine left him up against it.

Gough came home in two-under par to shoot a one-over par total of 71. That was a score matched by the other two morning competitors from Team England.

In tricky conditions, Olly Huggins and Barclay Brown dug deep to make sure that they hung in there when the strengthening wind and bouncy fairways combined to produce difficult conditions.

Huggins’ score would have been better had not mistakenly played the wrong ball from the rough on 16. He only noticed the error on the green and incurred a two-shot penalty before finding and going on to make four with the original ball.

England’s Women

Amelia Williamson came home in two under par to help England’s women climb the leaderboard on day one at Conwy.

The Norfolk golfer was entitled to feel jaded after featuring for the international team at the Palmer Cup in Geneva over the weekend.

But the Curtis Cup player showed her quality to post a level par round – helped by birdies on 10 and 14.

Rosie Belsham from Whitley Bay also signed for a level par score of 73 – her round peppered with three birdies including a two at the second.

Charlotte Heath – who played for GB&I at the Curtis Cup when it was held at Conwy in 2021 – birdied the last to shoot a one-over par round of 74.

And Lottie Woad – making her debut at this level for England – carded a two-over par round of 75 helped by playing the back nine in one under par.

Annabell Fuller’s round of 77 completed the counting scores for England who are sitting pretty going into the second round of stroke play. 

 

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

Today’s leaderboard positions in each of the four European Team Championships are worked out on the basis of the best five individual scores from six rounds counting towards the team total.

The same format is followed for tomorrow’s play before the final stroke play positions are determined.

From Thursday, teams are then separated into flights A, B and C depending on team stroke play positions. The competition then becomes a match play event.

The ‘A’ flight will feature eight teams with the team that wins a quarter-final, semi-final and final crowned champions.

 

Photography: Leaderboard/EGA