Sunday, 12 August 2018
Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez celebrate  (Getty Images)
Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez celebrate (Getty Images)

Scott Fernandez 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, Fernandez holed his birdie putt from around ten feet to hand Spain a two-hole victory and the gold medal.

Oriol was thrilled with his team's achievement. He said: "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."

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.

Spain 1 went into the final with a spring in their step after winning the last three holes of their semi-final clash with Italy 2 on Sunday morning to claim a two-hole victory.

And they found themselves one up after safely parring the first, with Iceland only managing a bogey.

Hafthorsson and Boasson bounced back with birdies at the fourth and fifth to take the lead but Fernandez's brilliant birdie putt from around 12 feet at the short sixth saw Spain 1 level things up.

And after Iceland found the thick rough at the seventh, eighth and ninth, Spain won those three as well to open up a three-hole lead.

Hafthorsson and Boasson, who won gold in the mixed event alongside Valdis Thora Jonsdottir and Olafia Kristinsdottir on Saturday, got one back at the 12th but they were three down once more when Spain 2 took the 14th.

Iceland gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Hafthorsson holed his six-footer at the 16th to reduce Fernandez and Oriol's lead to two.

And when Fernandez missed his close-range par putt at the 17th, Hafthorsson knocked in from around a foot to take the match to the 18th.

Both teams found the trees with the tee-shots at the 18th but the Spanish duo recovered superbly before Fernandez holed the winning putt.

After adding a silver medal to Saturday's gold, Boasson said: "We never gave up. It’s match play, anything could’ve happened.

"I'm honoured to play with Birgir and honoured to play for Iceland."

Italians Laporta and Tadini led from start to finish on their way to winning bronze, taking four holes on the front nine and two more after the turn, with Spain 2's only win coming at the seventh.

Laporta said: "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."

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.

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