The biggest week of the European amateur golfing calendar starts today.
528 golfers representing 29 countries and 88 different teams will compete in the 2022 European Team Championships.
Six seperate tournaments will be played from 5 to 9 July (Tuesday to Saturday). Teams will compete for the European titles at four events, in the men's, ladies', boys' and girls' categories. Two additional tournaments, for men and boys, will also be contested in conjunction for teams looking to be promoted to the Men's and Boys' Division 1 events.
Five days of competition await the players. Two rounds of stroke play qualifying, followed by three rounds of match play, will decide who claims the 2022 European team titles.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Each team is made up of six players. Over Days 1 & 2, all players complete two individual stroke play rounds. The team’s five best scores out of six from each day count towards their stroke play qualifying totals.
The top eight teams from the stroke play rounds of each championship qualify for the medal-contention 'Flight A' bracket. The next eight teams will compete in Flight B, and the remaining teams in Flight C.
The format for the three remaining competition days is match play. Nations go head-to-head, with two foursomes matches in the morning and five singles matches in the afternoon.
In the match play brackets, teams are seeded based on their qualifying position, (1 vs 8, 2 vs 7 etc.). Winning teams advance in their brackets, while losing teams play a simplified format (of one foursomes match and four singles matches) against other defeated nations to determine final position.
To win the title, a team must qualify for Flight A (top-eight in the stroke play qualifying) and then win all three of its matches. Teams finishing second and third are awarded silver and bronze medals.
In the Men’s and Boys’ tournaments, three teams are normally relegated to the Division 2 championships. However, because no nations were relegated due to Covid in 2020 or 2021, the teams placed 14th and lower will drop to Division 2 for 2023.
EUROPEAN AMATEUR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - Royal st. george's, england
The European Amateur Team Championship will be contested at Royal St. George's, England. The golf club, located in Sandwich on the south-east coast of England, has hosted The Open no less than 15 times, including the 149th edition in 2021.
19 teams will compete for the title this year compared to the usual 16. No teams were relegated in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid, while Finland, the Czech Republic, and Estonia earned promotion in 2021.
Denmark enter the week as defending champions, having claimed the title for the first time at PGA Catalunya last year. Three players from their victorious 2021 team, Søren Lind, Hamish Brown, and Frederik Kjettrup will look to make it two in a row at Royal St. George's.
Playing on home soil, the English team look strong and will be hoping for their first title since 2013. The 11-time winners of the event finished runners-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but will take inspiration from the fact that they won the championship the last time it was played in England, at Hillside in 2005.
This year’s England team will feature an in-form John Gough, who was won the Spanish Amateur Championship and Lytham Trophy already this year. Gough also finished second at the Scottish men's Open and reached the final four at The Amateur Championship just a few weeks ago.
The English team will also be helped by Barclay Brown, and Sam Bairstow, who both earned a spot at The Open via final qualifying last week.
Italy may find inspiration from recently crowned European Amateur Champion, Filippo Celli. The Italian player won Europe's biggest amateur title just over a week ago at Parador de El Saler, Spain. Celli will look to help his team to their first European Amateur Team Championship title since 1999.
EUROPEAN LADIES' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIp - conwy golf club, wales
The 2022 European Ladies’ Team Championship will also be contested on the British Isles. 20 teams will compete at Conwy Golf Club, marking the first time the event has been held in Wales.
The last six European Ladies' team Championship titles have been won by either England or Sweden. The former defeated the latter in the final at Royal County Down in 2021 to make it three titles each for the two nations since 2016.
Three of the victorious English team will return to defend the title at Conwy golf club. Annabell Fuller, Rosie Belsham and Caley McGinty.
Sweden won three titles in a row between 2018 and 2020, but have just two players from the side that finished runners-up in 2021. One of them being the top ranked player in Europe, and reigning European Ladies' Amateur Champion, Ingrid Lindblad.
EUROPEAN BOYS' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - gc st. leon-rot, germany
The European Boys’ Team Championship will be held at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany. 18 teams, made up of the best 18 and under aged boys will contest the championship this year
The hosts also enter the week as defending champions, having won the event at Furesø Golfklubb in Denmark in 2021. The German team defeated Italy in the final to win the event for the first time in six years.
The German team have former Jacques Léglise Trophy player, Tim Wiedemeyer in their ranks again this year. Wiedemeyer topped the stroke play qualifying of the 2021 European Boys' Team Championship, and recently won the German Boys Open at St. Leon-Rot by 11 strokes.
Finland, Norway and Slovenia earned promotion to the event via Division 2 in 2021 and will be looking to maintain their places in Division 1 for 2023. This will prove tricker than usual however, as five teams will, exceptionally, be relegated from the championship this year to account for no teams being relegated during the last two years.
EUROPEAN GIRLS' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - oddur golf club, iceland
18 teams will contest the 2022 European Girls’ Team Championship on the island of Iceland at Oddur Golf Club.
Spain enter the week as defending champions. They beat France in the final at Montado Golf Resort in 2021.
Players will have to adapt to cold conditions at Oddur Golf Club, with temperatures for the week expected to frequently dip below 10 degrees celsius. Sweden and Spain have historically been the teams to beat in the event, with eight titles each in the event's 31-year history.
All of the winning 2021 Continent of Europe Junior Vagliano Trophy team will compete in the event. Helen Briem for Germany, Meja Ortengren and Nora Sundberg for Sweden, Constance Fouillet for France, Francesca Fiorellini for Italy and Cayetana Fernandez Garcia Poggio for Spain. The latter two have already shown good form this year. Fiorellini won the Portuguese International, while Fernandez claimed the Copa S.M. La Reina (Spanish International Amateur Championship) earlier this season.
EUROPEAN AMATEUR & BOYS' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS, DIVISION 2 - pravets golf club, bulgaria
Two events will be held at Pravets Golf Club in Bulgaria this year. Five teams will compete for promotion in the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2, while seven will look to earn a spot in the European Boys' Team Championship for 2023.
The top three teams from both events, which feature two days of stroke play and two days of match play, will secure promotion to the Division 1 championships for 2023.