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2019 European Team Shield Championships: Preview

The fifth edition of the European Men's Team Shield Championship, and the fourth edition of the ladies' equivalent get underway on Wednesday. The V Golf Club, setting the stage this week, is hosting its first EGA event, and just the second to ever be played in Lithuania.

11 teams of four players will compete in the men's event this year, and 9 teams in the ladies', with a total of 13 different countries represented. The event, which will take place over four days just outside the Lithuanian captial city of Vilnius, is open to EGA member countries that have not entered a team into the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2, or European Ladies' Team Championship, in the same season. 

All players will complete 18 holes of individual stroke play on day one, with each team's best three scores counting towards their team's total.

In the men's event, the top eight teams following the stroke play qualifying will progress to the Flight A match play bracket, where teams go head-to-head with one foursomes match and two singles matches in each round over the last three days.

In the ladies' tournament, the top six teams will qualify for the Flight A match play bracket, with the top-two teams receiving byes straight into the semi-finals. 

In both tournaments, the bottom three teams in the stroke play qualifying will play a round-robin format over the last three days.

Croatia won the men's title on home soil last year, but don't return as defending champions. Having competed in the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2 event in Poland earlier this month, the team is not elligible to enter.

However, the ladies' event will feature a defending champion team. Serbia won the event in Croatia in 2018 and will be looking to win back-to-back titles in Lithuania this week.

Three players from last week's European Ladies' Amateur Championship will also tee it up at the V Golf Club this week. Sofia Seldemirova of Hungary, Poland's Nicole Polivchak, and Gile Bite Starkute of Lithuania. The latter was the best performer of the three, having made it into the penultimate pairing in round four, although a final round 78 (+6) dropped her into a tie for 30th.

Scoring and updates can be followed throughout the week on championship webpages: men, ladies.