Wednesday, 08 August 2018
European Golf Team Championships  (Getty Images)
European Golf Team Championships (Getty Images)

Iceland got their European Golf Team Championships campaign off to the perfect start on Wednesday, requiring just 13 holes to see off Belgium in Group D.

Birgir Hafthorsson and Axel Boasson won six holes without reply in the day's final match at Gleneagles to beat Christopher Mivis and Lars Buijs 6 and 5.

Norway, meanwhile, were convincing winners in Group D's other match, with Jarand Ekeland Arnoy and Kristian Krogh Johannessen beating Italy 1's Lorenzo Gagli and Guido Migliozzi 4 and 3.

After the first hole was halved in par fours, big-hitting Boasson fired a birdie at the par-five second to get Iceland off the mark before picking up another at the short fourth.

Hafthorsson extended their advantage with his first birdie of the day at the fifth before another gain from each player handed Iceland a five-hole lead at the turn.

It's always an honour to represent your country - Birgir Hafthorsson

After notching another birdie at the 11th to go six up, they safely parred the 12th and 13th to claim maximum points.

Hafthorsson vowed to stick to the same game plan when they take on the Italians on Thursday and face Norway in what could be a winner-takes-all encounter on Friday, with only one team from each group able to qualify for Sunday's semi-finals.

He said: "It's always an honour to represent your country, especially as a pro. It's really nice to play match play as well.

"We had a good start and we had a lot of chances. We made a couple of putts which was nice.

"Axel is a big hitter, so I let him go for it. It worked out today and we will try and keep it going."

Spanish duo Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez were 2 and 1 winners against Portugal in Group C courtesy of back-to-back birdies from Oriol on the back nine.

In the other game in that group, Poland's Adrian Meronk and Mateusz Gradecki beat Denmark pair Martin Ovesen and Niklas Norgaard Møller by a single hole to secure two points.

Earlier in the day there were wins for Great Britain 3 and Italy 2 in Group B, while Sweden 2 overcame Sweden 1 in Group A, with Spain coming from behind to halve their match against Great Britain 1 in the group's other game.

There were victories for all three of Great Britain's pairs in the Women's Team event.

Newly-crowned Ricoh Women's British Open champion Georgia Hall and Dame Laura Davies set the ball rolling in the morning, beating Spain 5 and 4 in the day's opening match.

Great Britain 3's Meghan MacLaren and Michele Thomson cruised to a 5 and 4 victory over Iceland in Group C before Catriona Matthew and Holly Clyburn beat Emma Nilsson and Lina Boqvist 3 and 2 in Group D.

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.

Germany 2, Finland and Sweden 3 also tasted victory on the opening day.

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