After what was probably the rainiest week in the Championship’s history (11 years), Ireland went on to win the gold medal after defeating Denmark with 3–2 in the final. It was a very tight final where two of the matches went beyond 18.
“We are delighted to go home with a European trophy. The six players that have represented us here this week are truly great ambassadors, not only for Ireland but for the game of golf”, said Sean O'Leary, who has captained the Irish team, winning two gold medals during his three years in position.
The Irish team were the favourites coming in to the final after being tied first in the stroke play qualifications. The five-time gold medallists were hungry for a comeback after missing the medals last year.
The underdog Denmark, came in on 4th place after the qualification rounds. This was the first time they had reached Flight A in the championship, with a former 10th place as best result. They had now secured a historic medal for their country.
The teams topped the first singles match by putting Hans Peter Jacobsen against Jim Carvill, who were both tied second after the stroke play qualification at -4. They had a tight game that was finally won by Jacobsen on the 19th hole.
The foursome game went to the Irish with 2&1 and the third single match was also easily won by the Irish 5&4. Michael C Flindt, gained Denmark’s 2nd match by winning on 17, 3&1.
As darkness fell over the PGA Sweden National, the final match between Henrik Daugaard and Adrian Morrow dragged on to the 21st hole before Morrow could tie his fist after making a birdie on the 330-meter par 4.
“We knew from watching Denmark the first two days of match play that it was going to be a tight game. We were fortunate today, and I would like to extend my congratulations to Denmark as very worthy runner-up’s”, said a thrilled Ireland team captain Sean O'Leary.
Bronze to England after defeating Scotland 3.5–1.5
Two UK teams headed off into the bronze match. England was looking to defend their bronze medal won in the previous championship, where they had three medallists from last year’s event in the team line-up at PGA Sweden National, Ian Crowther, Alan Mew and Stephen East. However, they were up against strong opponents.
The reigning champions, Scotland, had four players from last year’s gold winning team teeing up in the bronze match – Ian Brotherston, Graham Bell, Nick Robson and Ronnie Clark. After losing the tight semi-final game against Denmark, they were keen on battling for a medal on Swedish soil.
In the foursomes, four medallists from 2016 battled for one of the five points. Ian Brotherston and Graham Bell from Scotland met England’s Ian Crowther and Alan Mew. It was not decided until the 17th hole where the English team won 3&1.
For a little while, it looked as if it was going to be an easy win for the Englishmen, who were up in all five matches halfway into the round. However, the scots battled back to 2-3, and in the end, England drew the longest straw to finally win by 3.5–1.5.
Source: Susanne Persson, Communications Manager, Swedish Golf Federation