Wednesday, 08 August 2018
Oscar Floren  (Getty Images)
Oscar Floren (Getty Images)

Oscar Floren and Daniel Jennevret came out on top in the battle of the Swedes early on day one of the innovative European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles.

Floren and Jennevret's Sweden 2 team beat countrymen Johan Edfors and Per Langfors of Sweden 1 by one hole in their opening fourball match play Group A clash to storm to the top of the table.

The other match in their group was halved after Spain 2's Santiago Tarrio Ben and David Borda overturned a three-hole deficit in the last six holes of their match against Great Britain 1 to grab a share of the spoils.

Sweden 2 drew first blood at the par-five second on Wednesday morning when Jennevret notched a birdie to get his side off the mark and he repeated the trick at the fifth to double their advantage.

Langfors carded an eagle at the long ninth to reduce the deficit to one but Jennevret fired another birdie at the tenth to restore Sweden 2's two-hole lead.

Sweden 1 fought back in the closing stages of the match, winning the 16th to close the gap to one hole once again, but they were unable to prevent their compratriots taking maximum points.

With only the winners of each group qualifying for Sunday's semi-finals, Sweden 2 will be looking to strengthen their grip on top spot when they face Spain on Thursday.

Great Britain 1's Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery looked in control after they won the second, fifth and 12th holes to take a commanding three-hole lead.

A par at the 13th was good enough for Spain to cut their opponents' lead to two before birdies at the 15th and 16th levelled things up.

Slattery was disappointed to let the lead slip but believes the competition is wide open.

He said: "I had a three-putt at the wrong time in the match. We were 3UP at the time and I let them get back in, and then they holed several great putts on top of that and managed to get back in the match.

"We didn’t do much wrong, but it just shows how important it is to hole the putts when you really need to hole them.

"There are a lot of great players here this week, although they might not be in form at the minute, there are still a lot of players here that I recognise, have played with and have seen them shoot low scores. It’s a dog fight and anyone can win."

Home favourites Connor Syme and Liam Johnston got off to a winning start in Group B as Great Britain 3 were 4 and 3 winners against Great Britain 2's Rhys Enoch and Charlie Ford.

Enoch and Ford had led by one early on after a birdie apiece at the third and fifth respectively had cancelled out Syme's gain at the first.

But Syme reeled off three straight birdies from the seventh to turn the tide in the Scots' favour and Johnston finished Great Britain 2 off with birdies at the 11th and 14th.

It was good and we will take this winning feeling into tomorrow - Alessandro Tadini

Meanwhile, Francesco Laporta and his Italy 2 team-mate Alessandro Tadini were 2 and 1 victors against Neil O'Briain and Michael Hoey of Ireland.

The Italian pair made a very fast start, racing into a five-hole lead after eight.

O'Briain and Hoey mounted a comeback as the wind picked up in Scotland, but they could not catch their opponents.

Tadini said: "It was good and we will take this winning feeling into tomorrow. We alternated very well over the first nine and tomorrow we will look to have that same feeling, which will be good for our other matches.”

In the Women's Team event, newly-crowned Ricoh Women's British Open champion Georgia Hall and Dame Laura Davies cruised to a 5 and 4 victory over Spain in the day's first match, while the Germany 2 team - made up of Isi Gabsa and Leticia Ras-Anderica - were 5 and 3 winners against Belgium in Group A's other encounter.

And in Group B, France 1's Celine Herbin and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne saw off Germany 1 with minimal fuss, completing a 4 and 3 victory.

There was more success for the French in the group's other match, with France 2 beating Sweden 2's Julia Engstrom and Johanna Gustavsson 2 and 1.

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