Australia, winners of the first two Alfred Dunhill Cups in 1985 and 1986, will meet Spain – who have never won – in this afternoon’s final at the Old Course, St.Andrews.
On a breezy morning in Fife, the Australians overcame Sweden 2-1 thanks to a 19th hole victory from Stephen Leaney, while the Spaniards claimed revenge for last year’s final defeat by South Africa, also registering a 2-1 victory.
The first semi-final hinged on the final game between Leaney and Jarmo Sandelin, after Craig Parry and Patrik Sjoland had both claimed a point apiece for their country.
Leaney took a double bogey six after visiting a bunker and the road at the 17th and he and Sandelin finished level after rounds of 80. However the Swede’s approach screwed back into the burn at the first extra hole and Leaney two-putted for a winning par.
Spain, beaten 3-0 by the South Africans in the final twelve months ago, seemed in danger of struggling again when Ernie Els recorded the first score of the morning, a two under par 70, to edge out Sergio Garcia by two shots.
However Miguel Angel Jimenez played solidly to shoot a 73 for a four shot win over David Frost, and it was all down to the last match between Jose Maria Olazabal and Retief Goosen.
Olazabal sealed victory with a magnificent birdie three at the Road Hole to secure a four shot advantage playing the last. Goosen finished with a flourish, holing from the ‘Valley of Sin’ for an eagle two while Olazabal bogeyed. But it was enough for a win by 75-76.