Strong England six in bid to regain European Team slot

England v France 2012 - Callum Shinkwin

England is sending a strong six-man team to compete in the European Men’s Challenge Trophy at the Keilir Golf Club in Iceland on 12th – 14th July in a bid to qualify for next year’s European Men’s Team Championships.

After finishing 15th in the Team Championships a year ago, England need to finish in the top three in Iceland to regain their position in the leading men’s team event on the European calendar.

England will compete against seven other nations, including Belgium, Holland, Iceland and Portugal plus three from Eastern Europe over 54 holes with the best five scores from six to count in each round.

The team of six full internationals heading for Iceland is: Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex), Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O), Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland), Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire), Ben Stow (Rushmore), Wiltshire) and Ben Taylor (Walton Heath, Surrey).

Hiluta, 23, won the Spanish Amateur in March and made his full England debut against France in May. But a back injury forced him out of last week’s Brabazon Trophy.

Hinton, 23, also played against the French then won the Welsh Open Stroke Play at Prestatyn before finishing fourth in the St Andrews Links Trophy.

Porteous, 22, who has spent several years at college in the United States, made his England debut in last year’s Home Internationals having been capped at under 16 and boys levels.

Shinkwin, 19, the 2010 English under 18 champion, has enjoyed a string of top finishes this year including victory in the Hampshire Hog, third in the Berkhamsted Trophy and fifth in the Darwin Salver before winning all his four games on his full England debut against France in May.

Stow, 20, debuted for England in last year’s Home Internationals and was a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the English County Championship. Finished seventh in the recent Scottish Stroke Play and tied ninth in last week’s Brabazon Trophy.

Taylor, 20, a past winner of several junior events in the south east, he was another debutant in last year’s Home Internationals and has a good record this year on foreign soil with third places in the Jones Cup in American and the Turkish Amateur.

The par 71 Keilir course close to Reykjavik measures 6,415 yards, has nine holes constructed on a lava field, with average size greens and no bunkers. The back nine is a traditional links layout with bunkers and small greens.