• Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald key to the victory
• Coach Ian Rae hails foursomes pairings over the week
SCOTLAND | SGU GOLF
Scotland clinched their second European Amateur Team Championship title in six years after victory over Denmark in Sweden.
After a Greig Marchbank-inspired comeback saw off rivals England in the semi-finals, the team, led by national coach Ian Rae, fought off a spirited Danish comeback to claim a 4.5–2.5 success in Halmstad to secure the gold medal.
National coach Rae, who led Scotland to the European crown in 2009 after claiming the world title the previous year, saw his side build a 2-0 foursomes lead before they stood firm in the afternoon singles. Kilmarnock Barassie’s Jack McDonald secured a crucial win, before Grant Forrest from Craigielaw delivered the winning point.
McDonald and Forrest were key players throughout the week – in a team which also included Ewen Ferguson, Graeme Robertson, Connor Syme and Marchbank – both winning five points from six in the matchplay stages, as the pair maintained the form that saw them reach the semi-finals and final respectively at last month’s Amateur Championship at Carnoustie.
"It’s been a brilliant team performance this week" - Grant Forrest
“I didn’t know my putt was to win at the time, but it’s now a great feeling,” said Forrest. “It’s been a brilliant team performance this week.
“We have done well in the foursomes the last three days and coming in at 2-0 up in the final it could have been easy to get complacent. But we knew we all still had jobs to do and I just went out to try and win my match.”
Rae, who has now been in charge of four winning Scottish sides at the Europeans, added: “Our foursomes pairings this week have been fantastic, we kept the same format right the way through, and all credit to the guys for seeing the job through in the singles in the final. Denmark are a very, very good team.”
The Scots started well, with Bearsden’s Ferguson and Forrest surging to a four up lead after nine holes against Morten Toft Hansen and Sixten Stemann Jensen, before claiming an emphatic 7&5 triumph.
McDonald and Glenbervie’s Robertson, the former University of Stirling team-mates playing at their third European Amateur Team event, were made to work harder against Niklas Norgaard Moller and Peter Launer Baek before maintaining their winning streak.
The Danes were one up after 12 holes, but the Scots duo turned it around to level after 15 before securing a 2&1 victory – their third straight foursomes victory in Sweden.
Up against it, Denmark came out all guns blazing in the singles with Philip Juel Berg soon racing to a 6&5 win over Thornhill’s Marchbank and it was 2-2 after Martin Leth Simonsen took out Ferguson 2&1.
But McDonald stayed cool to see off the challenge of Toft Hansen on the 17th, winning 2&1, before Forrest turned around his match against Norgaard Moller, winning the final two holes.
Drumoig’s Connor Syme was ahead in the final match, but amicably he and opponent Launer Baek settled for a halved match with the contest over.
Players to have competed in the European Amateur Team Championship down the years include world No.1 Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Matteo Manassero, Victor Dubuisson, Chris Wood and Jonas Blixt.
Main picture credit: @SGUGolf
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