The R&A - Working for Golf

Great Britain and Ireland take narrow lead after day one of the Jacques Leglise Trophy

There was little to choose between the two sides after the first day of the Jacques Leglise Trophy at Royal Dornoch Golf Club where Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) lead the Continent of Europe 6 ½ - 5 ½.

As the afternoon winds whipped up across the Dornoch Firth, keeping the ball in play was paramount for the singles matches around this wonderful and testing old links which celebrates its 400th year in 2016.

The scoreline was decided by the sixth singles tie where Ben Chamberlain from Wales kept his composure to hole a six-foot putt for par on the 18th to halve his match with Denmark's Christoffer Bring.

Moments earlier England's Bradley Moore, GB&I playing captain, won the the anchor match against Italy's Guido Migliozzi 3&1. The Carris Trophy champion was three-up in the early stages but typical of the Continent of Europe's battling qualities, Migliozzi got back to all-square with five to play before Moore pressed on.

"I didn't think as a team we played as well as we did in practice. Conditions were a little bit more difficult and that's often the problem playing practice rounds in benign conditions," explained GB&I Captain Peter McEvoy.

"The encouraging thing is we were good at the death - as a team we played the 18th well. Ben's match was fairly typical of what went on today. Holing those important putts showed good character and that's encouraging."

Marco Penge, a three-time champion this year, was a convincing 4&3 winner against Germany's Maximilian Schmitt in the top singles but matters were quickly levelled as Norway's Viktor Hovland was equally impressive in his 5&3 win over Ireland's Thomas Mulligan.

Like his Welsh compatriot, Tim Harry went the distance and got up and down at the 18th to win by one hole against Norway's Kristoffer Reitan. Nairn's Sandy Scott brought the biggest crowd with him (his school put on a bus so his classmates could watch him in action) and won 2&1 against Sweden's Tim Widing.

Elsewhere Scotland's Calum Fyfe lost to Iceland's Gisli Sveinbergsson 3&2 and England's William Enefer lost by the same margin to John Axelsen from Denmark.

"It was a very close match. The wind came strong in the afternoon and the singles matches were very close," said Portugal's Miguel Franco de Sousa, Captain of Continent of Europe.

"We are just one point behind and anything can happen tomorrow. This is such a fantastic golf course, great characteristics for match play, everything can turn around very quickly.

"We're confident heading into tomorrow. There is still all to play for."

The morning foursomes ebbed and flowed before both sides eventually went into lunch tied 2-2.

McEvoy's charges held an early advantage and led in three ties with the exception of the top match where Penge and Mulligan struggled to find their best form. The GB&I pair always trailed against Hovland and Reitan and the Norwegian duo ran out comfortable 5&4 winners.

Moore and Enefer won the bottom match 3&2 against France's Adrien Pendaries and Migliozzi, while the middle foursomes ties contained the most drama.

Scott and Fyfe looked in control in front of the home crowds and were one-up after nine. However, the match quickly turned on its head as the Danish pair of Bring and Axelsen claimed five of the next six holes to win 4&3.

Harry and Thomas Williams overcame a "clumsy" mistake on the 13th where Williams wrongly teed off at the par-3 instead of Harry in the alternate shots format and therefore lost the hole, having been three-up at one stage.

Momentum swung as Wilding and Sveinbergsson got it back to all-square standing on the 18th. However, the Welsh pair held their nerve to make par and win by one-hole.

"Tomorrow will be tough, it's always tough. They have some really quality players and we'll have to strangle every point out of it as always," added McEvoy.