Europe with handsome lead in Jacques Leglise Trophy Match

Domenico Geminiani is congratulated by his Continent of Europe team-mate.The Continent of Europe lead Great Britain and Ireland 8 – 4 after day one of the 2010 Jacques Leglise Trophy, the annual match contested by Europe’s best golfers aged 18 or under, which is being played at Castelconturbia, near Milan, Italy. Having finished the morning foursomes 3 – 1 in front, the Continent extended their lead after winning five of the afternoon’s eight singles ties.

The Continent won the first of the two afternoon singles matches on the 18th green; newly crowned Boys Amateur Champion from Spain Adrian Otaegui and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters defeating Englishman Chris Lloyd and Northern Ireland’s Dermot McElroy, respectively, by the same margin: one hole.

“I played pretty well even though I didn’t putt so good. But the whole team has played very well today,” said Otaegui, “we have hit a lot of good shots and we have made a lot of birdies. We are very happy, but we are concentrating for tomorrow because GB&I are very good and they have really good players.”

By the time Otaegui had registered his victory, however, GB&I Captain Rhys Pugh had already secured the first of his team’s three afternoon points. He overcame Markus Maukner 3&2, in a phenomenal performance that left the Austrian saying, “he [Pugh] was a very, very good player – he didn’t miss.”

Rhys Pugh“I think I had about 11 or 12 putts on the front nine, and I was five or six under when I won,” explained 16-year-old Pugh, who represented Wales at the recent full Home Internationals. “It’s an honour to Captain the GB&I team, and I’m looking forward to leading the comeback tomorrow.”

The two Scots in the side, Scottish Boys Amateur Champion Grant Forrest and Scott Gibson claimed GB&I’s two remaining singles points after defeating Norway’s Kristian Johannesen 3&1 and Moritz Lampert of Germany 4&3, respectively.

“I played pretty good this afternoon, and obviously I’m proud to have earned a point for GB&I,” said Forrest. “We’re getting beaten at the moment, but the mood’s still good and there are still 12 points to play for tomorrow, so hopefully we can turn it around.”

In addition to Otaegui and Pieters, the Continent of Europe’s singles points came courtesy of victories for Belgium’s Thomas Detry by two holes over Paul Dunne of Ireland; Italian Domenico Geminiani, who defeated Englishman James Burnett by two holes; and Thomas Sorensen of Denmark, a 4&3 winner over England’s Paul Lockwood.

“We had our chances to improve the situation,” explained The R&A’s Chairman of Boys Selectors, Peter McEvoy, “but we didn’t take many of them, so we can’t complain about finding ourselves four points down. However, if they can beat us 8 – 4, I’m certain that we have a GB&I team with the potential to do the same to them tomorrow.”

The second day of the Jacques Leglise Trophy Match gets underway at 8.30am (CET) tomorrow morning.

Stories will appear throughout the day on RandA.org and live scoring will be available via a link to the Italian Golf Federation website.