Scott Fernández and Pedro Oriol won gold for Spain in the Men’s Team competition at the inaugural European Golf Team Championships as Mixed Team champions Iceland’s late fightback came up just short.
The lead changed hands in the early stages as the rain poured down at Gleneagles, but Spain 1 held a commanding three-hole advantage as they began the back nine after winning four holes on the spin from the sixth.
Iceland’s Birgir Hafthorsson and Axel Boasson bounced back brilliantly in the closing stages, winning the 16th and 17th to take the match to the 18th hole.
But after both teams got into tree trouble at the last, Fernández holed his birdie putt from around ten feet to hand Spain a two-hole victory and the gold medal, with Iceland picking up silver.
Italy 2’s Francesco Laporta and Alessandro Tadini claimed the bronze medal after powering to a 5 and 3 win against Spain 2 pair Santiago Tarrio Ben and David Borda.
In the Women’s Team event, Sweden 3’s Linda Wessberg and Cajsa Persson beat France 2 at the second play-off hole to take gold, while Great Britain 3’s Meghan MacLaren and Michele Thomson won bronze.
Scott Fernández: “In one word – amazing. It’s the first time we celebrate the golf in the European Championships and we are really proud to have our name associated with the medals for the first time. We played great all week so I’m really happy to take the gold medal home for Spain.
“Spanish players have done really well in match play, especially on this course. It’s a great course and it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to play on the course. To win for Spain feels great.”
Pedro Oriol: “I feel really good. Before playing this tournament Scott and I were talking about winning the gold medal and we did it. It’s an honour to play for Spain and it’s an honour to win a gold medal for Spain. To describe it with one word – awesome.
“It was really hard on the 18th, but at least I have a little bit of experience with it after yesterday. I did a good job with the approach because it’s a really tough green. It’s very sloppy and I could’ve missed two yards left and it would have meant a 30-yard chip. It was very tense but thankfully I did the right thing and Scott made the birdie.”
Birgir Hafthorsson: “It always feels bittersweet to lose the final match, but we can be satisfied in the end. We played well over the weekend and it was tough conditions today. The Spanish guys played steady and we made a couple of mistakes on the front nine, so we were trailing on the back nine. Anything could’ve happening on the 18th and it would’ve been nice to put some pressure on them to hole the putt, but it wasn’t to be, and they deserved it, they played well.
“It’s been an amazing week and we have been fortunate enough to play the game in this beautiful place.”
Francesco Laporta: “It feels great to win bronze. To win a medal is a dream for every athlete in the world. It’s very good for us, as we played very good golf this afternoon. We didn’t play our best golf in the morning in the semi-final but this afternoon we were strong, and we won the bronze medal.
“We changed strategy, so I started first this afternoon, after Alessandro started first this morning. We changed it and it worked out well.
“The strategy was key for the victory because we played the holes differently to how we played them this morning. It was much better for both of us.
“The last time I dressed in the Italian colours was six years ago, so I’m very happy and I’m very proud to be Italian.”
Download the final standings of the European Golf Team Championships here: EUROPEAN GOLF TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS – RESULTS