Seventh straight win in The Vagliano Trophy for Europe

The Continent of Europe celebrate winning The Vagliano Trophy at Royal St George’s in Kent. Credit: The R&A.

The Continent of Europe claimed a 14.5-9.5 win over Britain and Ireland to lift the Vagliano Trophy at Royal St George’s, England, on Saturday.

With a 7–5 lead overnight, the Continent of Europe stretched their advantage to three points after going unbeaten in the foursomes to win the session 2.5–1.5. It was an exciting morning which included a hole-in-one from both Hazel MacGarvie from Scotland and Italy’s Alessia Nobilio.

The Continent of Europe, featuring a team with all eight players inside the top 30 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, wrapped up victory by winning the singles 5-3, to give them their seventh straight success in the biennial competition.

Britain and Ireland, who last won the Vagliano Trophy in 2005, needed a fast start in the afternoon singles and showed early promise to hold early leads. However, the Continent of Europe found their form and top-ranked Frida Kinhult defeated Lily May Humphreys 5&3 and Leonie Harm edged out Julie McCarthy by one hole.

When Linn Grant halved with Alice Hewson, the trophy had been retained and the Continent of Europe went past the winning line when France’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard beat Isobel Wardle 2&1.

MacGarvie took her personal tally for the week to three-and-half points from four when she beat Nobilio on the 18th, while Annabell Fuller was also victorious on the closing hole against Albane Valenzuela.

Caterina Don added to the Continent of Europe’s total when she beat Shannon McWilliam 3&1, with Girls Amateur champion Emma Spitz and Women’s Amateur champion Emily Toy halving the final match.

In the foursomes, MacGarvie aced the 177-yard 3rd for only her second-ever hole-in-one, with Nobilio doing likewise at the short 6th. Nobilio’s ace helped her and Continent of Europe team-mate Don to a convincing 6&5 triumph over Hewson and Humphreys. Britain and Ireland looked well-placed to counter over the historic links as they led in the other three foursomes heading into the back nine.

However, Spitz and Harm fought back from losing the first four holes to secure half a point against MacGarvie and McWilliam.The bottom two games also finished level, after Toy and Wardle made a birdie at the last to tie with Kinhult and Grant, while an eagle from McCarthy and Fuller on 18 secured a half against Valenzuela and Roussin-Bouchard.

In the Junior Vagliano Trophy, the six-a-side match for Under-16s, the Continent of Europe claimed a 10.5–7.5 success. Trailing 5-4 overnight to Britain and Ireland, the visitors responded to win all three morning foursomes and three of the afternoon singles as they achieved a fifth straight win in the event.

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