St. Andrews Trophy: GB&I Run Continues
02 Sep 2006
Czech Republic (Sept 2, 2006) -- Great Britain & Ireland continued their dominance of the St Andrews Trophy as they swept to victory over the Continent of Europe at Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic, needing just three points from the final day's action to claim overall victory by 15-9 to record their 23rd win out of 26 in the biennial contest.
Yet while the GB&I senior side celebrated their success, the boys' team suffered a comprehensive 19 1/2 - 4 1/2 defeat to their European counterparts in the Jacques Leglise Trophy. Europe had virtually sealed the win during Friday's opening session of foursomes and singles as they romped into an 11-1 lead at the halfway stage. That meant they required a meagre 1 1/2 points from day two for overall victory and those swiftly arrived in the morning as the two sides shared the foursomes 2-2.
The GB&I men's squad took a commanding seven point lead during Friday's opening session of foursomes and singles and captain Colin Dalgleish's side shared the morning foursomes 2-2 to go into the eight singles requiring a single point to push them over the winning line.
Ireland's Rory McIlroy edged them nearer their target when he halved his match with Amateur champion Julien Guerrier leaving St Andrews Links Trophy winner Oliver Fisher to seal the victory with a 4 and 3 win over Matteo Del Podio.
Essex teenager Fisher, the youngest player to compete in the Walker Cup, pipped US Amateur champion Richie Ramsay to the ultimate glory, putting out on the 15th green just seconds before Ramsay clinched a 3 and 2 success over Finland's Antti Ahokas on the 16th.
"Oliver and myself had a bit of a laugh about that," admitted Ramsay. "It would've been nice to have had that honour to cap off what has been an amazing week for me. I like being in those positions where there is some pressure on the game but in the end it doesn't matter who gets the point as long as we won as a team."
GB&I skipper Dalgleish, the former Scottish Amateur champion, savoured his first major victory in his new role and added: "I'm delighted for everybody involved. We had done a lot of the spade work on Friday and that got us well ahead. Today was that bit closer but we had that quality in the team to finish the job off. It's an excellent weekend's work."