The European Senior Men's and Senior Ladies' Team Championships got underway on Tuesday in Denmark and Bulgaria. 17 teams are competing in the ladies' event this year, while 22 teams have teed it up in the men's.
The formats are identical; teams will play two rounds of stroke play qualifying, before being sorted into flights and playing three days of match play. The teams that finish in the top-eight of the stroke play qualifying phase, and then win all three of their matches from Thursday to Saturday, will be crowned the winners at each championship.
At BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas, hosting the ladies' event, England have set the early pace. Led by Paula Carver, who returned a 73 (+1), which tied lowest score of the day, the English team totalled +20 in the first of two rounds of stroke play.
Ireland, who had a 73 of their own from Suzanne Corcoran, sit three shots behing on +23 in second position, while last year's runners-up, Sweden, are two shots further back on +23.
Belgium (+30), Spain (+32), Germany (+34), France (+35) and the Netherlands (+36) currently sit inside the all-important top-eight spots, and will qualify for Flight A should they maintain their positions, although Italy, sitting in ninth place, are just three shots behind on +39.
In the Men's event, hosted by Rungsted Golf Club, Ireland lead the way. The six-times winners returned five scores under 75 to sit at the top of the leaderboard at +4. The hosts, Denmark, and England, are close behind on +6, while Scotland sit in fourth place on +8.
Italy (+13), Belgium (+15), Germany (+18) and Sweden (+19) are the other four teams currently sitting inside the top-eight, with the Netherlands (+21), Spain (+22), France (+22), and Switzerland (+23) very close behind. To have a chance of winning medals in the match play phase, teams must be inside the top eight at the end of round two.
Two players carded rounds of 70 (-2) to tie for the lowest score of the day. Bjorn Norgaard, representing the hosts, and who is also a member at Rungsted Golf Klub, made just one bogey in his two-under-par round, while Scotland's Ronnie Clark birdied four of the last eight holes to shoot the same score.