Senior Home Internationals

England win Senior Home Internationals on thrilling final day in Scotland

The R&A
21 Sep 23
3 mins

England ran out winners at West Kilbride to lift the R&A Women’s & Men’s Senior Home Internationals trophy in narrow fashion.

Over the links on Scotland’s west coast in difficult weather conditions, the combined team from England emerged victorious. On a dramatic final day, England defeated Scotland 11–7 to reach two-and-half points in the four-nation table and finish half a point ahead of Ireland, who defeated Wales 9.5–8.5 to end their week with a narrow win. Scotland came third overall with a point in the group standings, while Wales finished on half a point.

Women impress

England’s women finished in style today to help their overall team score, beating Scotland 7.5–1.5. Emma Brown, Sally Shayler, Kerry Smith, Jackie Foster, Tracey Williamson and Catherine Rawthore all won in the singles, with Williamson a 7&6 victor against Jackie Brown. Angela Jones, captain of the England team, said, “We are a combined team, but our women had a really good day today. We’ve got a very balanced women’s team and we put them out with a feeling that a win could come from anyone in the team. That proved to be the case today and we won all six singles ties.” It was the second time combined teams have competed for a trophy to honour the best side in British and Irish senior golf. Twelve months ago, a combined team of Scottish seniors achieved history at Pyle & Kenfig in Wales by winning the Championship in its new format.

Angela Jones - England Captain

“It’s nice to come north and win the trophy, especially on their turf here. It’s a little icing on the cake. We will be enjoying ourselves this evening.”

Team effort

At West Kilbride, England were winners of the Women’s Senior Home Internationals thanks to their narrow better points difference over Ireland, while Scotland earned a bonus as victors of the Men’s Senior Home Internationals thanks to an unbeaten week. Indeed, they defeated England 5.5–3.5 on the final day. Both championships were run concurrently with the combined team competition. “We decided after last year when we didn’t feel we had done a good job of making it feel like one team and that this year we had to change that,” admitted Jones. “We really made sure, Andrew Atkinson, the men’s captain, and myself that we actually behaved and acted like one team this year. It really made a big difference. “It’s nice to come north and win the trophy, especially on their turf here. It’s a little icing on the cake. We will be enjoying ourselves this evening.”

English success story

Jones felt England’s handling of the conditions was key to their success. “The weather was a great shame as it’s a lovely spot at West Kilbride and we just didn’t get one nice day unfortunately,” she added. “It was really wet the first day, really windy the second day and a bit of a combination of both today. But the course was so well presented and I can’t give the club enough praise.”  With England winning the Men’s and Women’s Home Internationals and the Boys’ and Girls’ Home Internationals, the victory at West Kilbride continues the English success story at team level in 2023. Jones said, “There is a good thing going in English amateur golf at the moment. I think the performance department at England Golf know what they’re trying to do and doing it very well.”