Europe ease to Jacques Leglise victory

The Jacques Leglise Trophy winners line up after their victory.After comprehensively defeating Great Britain and Ireland by 15 ½ - 8 ½, the Continent of Europe have won the 2010 Jacques Leglise Trophy Match today at Castelconturbia, near Milan, Italy. The Continent’s victory comes after three successive wins for GB&I, meaning that, of the last 15 contests, the Continent have won seven times to their opponent’s eight.

Leading 8 – 4 overnight, the day-two, morning foursomes went 3 ½ - ½ in the Continent of Europe’s favour, leaving them on 11 ½ to GB&I’s 4 ½ and needing just one point to win. That point was secured by France’s Stanislas Gautier, who halved his match with Dermot McElroy of Northern Ireland. The first half-a-point, however, was earned by 14-year-old Domenico Geminiani, the youngest player ever to play on the European Tour, after he shared the spoils with GB&I Captain Rhys Pugh.

“I was two down after 16 so it feels good to get something out of the match,” said the Italian, who played in the Italian Open in May. “We have a great team, we all work together, and we all had fun. It’s a great result. I could, because of my age, play in another four of these, so I hope we keep the same team spirit in the matches to come and I hope that we keep winning.”

For GB&I’s 16-year-old Captain, Pugh, the team’s defeat lay in poor morning performances over the two days that left them with 1 ½ points from a possible eight.

“The foursomes on the first day left us with an uphill battle, and today’s foursomes sealed it really,” said the Welshman, who won the 2010 Peter McEvoy Trophy. “We certainly had the talent, but it just didn’t come together on the day.

GB&I promise was short-lived on Saturday.“It’s been an honour to Captain these boys and I’ve really enjoyed the challenges and responsibilities that have come with it.”

The eight points available in the afternoon were equally shared, with GB&I victories coming for three Englishmen: Chris Lloyd won 5&4 against Kristian Johannesen of Norway; James Burnett overcame Austria’s Markus Maukner 4&3; and Paul Lockwood defeated 2010 Boys Amateur Champion Adrian Otaegui 3&1.

The Continent’s three victories came courtesy of Belgium’s Thomas Detry, who prevailed 4&3 over Paul Dunne of Ireland; fellow Belgian Thomas Pieters, who defeated Scotland’s Grant Forrest by the same margin; and Denmark’s Thomas Sorensen, who ended the week with four points from a possible four after overcoming Scott Gibson of Scotland by one hole.

The R&A’s Chairman of Boys Selectors, Peter McEvoy, said: “We underperformed both today and yesterday. We failed to close out matches and we lost the 18th hole on eight occasions – you just can’t win matches if you’re going to do that.

“The Continent had a very strong team and they thoroughly deserved to win, but this afternoon, I was pleased that we showed we could match them.”

The 2011 Jacques Leglise Trophy Match will take place on 26 & 27 August at Neguri in Pais Vasco, northern Spain.