Great Britain & Ireland hold small but important lead in Jacques Leglise Trophy

Great Britain & Ireland hold a 6½-5½ lead after a tightly fought opening day of the 44th Jacques Leglise Trophy in Neguri, Spain.

It was Great Britain & Ireland who had the better of the morning foursomes matches, establishing a 2½-1½ lead over the Continent of Europe.  Toby Tree and Callum Shinkwin, an unbeaten partnership at the recent Boys Home Internationals, got GB&I off to the perfect start with an impressive 6&4 victory over Spanish duo Javier Sainz and Jon Rahm. 

Honours were even in the tie between Irish pair Gavin Moynihan and Gary Hurley, and Thomas Detry and Kenny Subregis, before Maximilian Rottluff and Robin Goger levelled the scores by defeating GB&I captain and Welsh Boys’ Champion David Boote, and his experienced playing partner Dermot McElroy who was making his second consecutive Jacques Leglise appearance.

The final tie of the morning was won by English duo Nathan Kimsey and Harrison Greenberry, the recently crowned Boys Amateur Champion.  They triumphed 2&1 over Kristoffer Ventura of Norway, and Gonçalo Pinto of Portugal.

The first of the eight afternoon singles matches was won by Callum Shinkwin, who kept up his impressive early form to convincingly defeat European Young Masters Boys’ Champion, Kenny Subregis 5&3.  Shinkwin’s morning partner Toby Tree then added GB&I’s second point of the afternoon with a two-hole victory over Jon Rahm, the 2010 Spanish Junior Champion.

These early points stretched GB&I’s lead to 4½-1½, but a resurgent Continent of Europe side were victorious in the next three matches, consequently drawing the scores level.  Thomas Detry defeated England’s Paul Kinnear who was making his first appearance of the tournament; Robin Goger overcame Gavin Moynihan, 2&1, to record his second point of the day; and Javier Sainz saw off Gary Hurley by one hole, which was helped by an eagle on the 15th hole.

Dermot McElroy put GB&I back in the lead with a 4&2 defeat over Frenchman Florian Loutre, before Maximilian Rottluff levelled the tie for a second time with a convincing 4&3 victory over captain David Boote.

It was left to the final match between Kristoffer Ventura and Harrison Greenberry to determine which team would go into the final day with a small but important advantage.  And it was Greenberry who triumphed by one hole, settling the final opening day scores at Great Britain & Ireland 6½ - Continent of Europe 5½.

The same format of four morning singles and eight afternoon singles will take place tomorrow, in which is sure to be an interesting and tense conclusion to this year’s Jacques Leglise Trophy.

Click here to view a full round-up of the scores.