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Preview: European Team Championships

Five of the EGA's team championship take place next week. That means 420 amateur golfers across Europe will be vying for medals for their countries at four different championships.

48 more players will be trying to earn promotion for their nations at the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2.

No country has won more than one of the events in the same week since Sweden won the boy's and girl's in 2012. Italy came close to multiple victories last year, as their teams still had a chance to win all four events on the penultimate day, but were forced to settle for two silver medals and two bronze medals. 



In the four main draw team championships this week (men, ladies', boys' and girls'), the format is as follows:

Each team consists of six players. Over the first two days, all players play two rounds of individual stroke play, with each team's five lowest scores out of six counting each day.

The team classification following day two will decide the seeding for the match play flights, which are played on the following three days. The match play flights are divided into Flight A, the top eight teams, and Flight B, the teams ranked 9th-16th. 

The eight teams in Flight A will compete for medals, while those in Flight B will compete for position only. 

In the men's and boy's team championships, those in Flight B will be playing to avoid finishing in the bottom three, which means relegation into division 2.

In the Ladies' and Girl's events, which have 19 teams, there are three-team Flight Cs, which are played round robin. As there are not yet division 2 championship for these events, no teams are relegated.

In all matches where teams could still progress to win medals, meaning the first round of matches in Flight A, the semi-finals, the final, and the bronze medal match, seven points are available. These seven points are played for through two foursomes matches in the morning and five singles matches in the afternoon.

Teams that no longer have a chance to win a medal still play additional matches for final position. These ties are contested through one foursomes match and four singles matches. 

In the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2, the format is effectively the same, although there are only eight teams. This means that there is only one day of stroke play where teams will be aiming to seed themselves as high as possible for the three following days of match play.



Last year's medallists:

1. Spain

2. England

3. Italy

Spain triumphed in the final last year at Diamond Country Club, Austria. They defeated a very strong English team that included Amateur championship winner, Harry Ellis, and European Amateur Champion, Alfie Plant.

Despite finishing seventh after the stroke play rounds, the Spanish team won all three of their matches 4-3 to take the trophy home to Spain for the fourth time. 

Belgium, Switzerland and Wales finished in the bottom three spots and were relegated. They will be replaced this year by Finland, who won the division 2 event in 2017, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The british teams have dominated the European Amateur Team Championship over time. England is the most succesful team in the event with 11 victories, followed by Scotland with eight, and Ireland with six.

This year the competition travels to Germany. The home team will be hoping to complete the lifetime 'grand slam' of team championship victories, having already won the ladies', girl's, and boy's team events in the past. The Faldo Course Berlin will be the host course for the week week. Designed by the six-time major winner himself, the course features 133 pot bunkers and was recently ranked in the top-50 courses of Continental Europe. 



Last year's medallists:

1. England

2. Italy

3. Sweden

England claimed their second consecutive win and a record 10th European Ladies' Team Championship title in the event last year. After finishing fourth in the stroke play rounds, they beat Germany in the quarter-finals, and Sweden in the semi-finals to set up a match against Italy in the final. 

The Italians were hoping for their first European Ladies' Team Championship win in history, but came up against a very strong English side, who took four of the first five matches to secure the trophy.

The second most successful team in the event is France, who have eight victories. They finished just eight shots off the flight A spots following the strokeplay rounds last year. Sweden, who have the third most wins with seven, last won the event in 2011, when the event was also held at Golf Club Murhof.



Last year's medallists:

1. Denmark

2. Spain

3. Italy

Denmark claimed their third victory in the European Boy's Team Championship, the only team event in which they have triumphed, last year. After finishing third in the stroke play, they beat England, who have won the champoinship eight times, and Sweden to set up a final with the hosts, Spain. The final match was extremely close, but finished 4-3 in favour of the Danes.

Slovenia, Slovakia and Norway finished in the bottom three, and will therefore play in division 2 in Hungary later this year. Switzerland, Wales, and Belgium, will fill the three spots after earning promotion at the division 2 event last year.

This year the event will be played in the Czech Republic for the third time, at Golf Resort Kaskada Brno, a course that has previously hosted the European Girl's Team Championship. 


EUROPEAN GIRLS' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - Forsgärdens Golfklubb, Sweden

Last year's medallists:

1. Sweden

2. Italy

3. England

Sweden's girls were the only team to top the stroke play rankings and go on to win the tournament during the same week last year.

They beat Germany, France, and Italy on their road to a record eighth win in the event, which edged them one ahead of Spain, who have won seven. 

Sweden will be looking to break their own record for number of wins on home soil this year at Forsgardens Golfklubb.



The European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2 will be contested by eight teams at Rosa Private Golf Club this year in Poland. 

Belgium, Switzerland, and Wales will be hoping to bounce straight back up to the main division after being relegated in the main event last year.