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Friday, 07 June 2019
Esther Henseleit and Laura Fuenfstueck  (Getty Images)
Esther Henseleit and Laura Fuenfstueck (Getty Images)
Golf can be a game of inches and Laura Fuenfstueck and Esther Henseleit experienced that in Portugal as they were knocked out of the GolfSixes Cascais after a nearest the pin play-off.

The GolfSixes has been one of the most innovative events in golf in each of its three stagings so far and the inclusion of female players on a level playing field with the men is just one of the innovations.

England Women and Europe Women both made it to the last eight last season to prove they can match their male counterparts and Fuenfstueck and Henseleit continued that tradition at Oitavos Dunes.

After being pegged back for a 2-2 draw against France in their opening match, they beat the Australian pair of Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby 2-0 to get to the brink of qualification.

A 2-0 defeat to Wales - who were helped by Jamie Donaldson holing out for an eagle on the first - left them level with Australia on points and holes won and the battle for second place in Group C went to a play-off.

The teams could not be separated on their first trip back up the sixth and it came down to nearest the pin, with Hend putting his tee shot to 17 feet and eight inches, just 19 inches closer than Fuenfstueck's.

"It hurts a little bit," she said. "I tried to push it on the tee box, to keep it going a little bit.

"It was a really fun day. Obviously we're still happy that we get opportunity to play here and play alongside the guys. It was a lot of fun."

Henseleit added: "Of course I'm a bit sad but I think we did great today. We played some really good golf.

We're still happy that we get opportunity to play here and play alongside the guys. It was a lot of fun - Laura Fuenfstueck

"We just want to keep on doing what we do and maybe we can put on some more events where we can play together and have a good time."

Hend was left in no doubt about the challenge he had faced in Portugal.

"Those girls are phenomenal players, phenomenal swingers of the golf club and if we had to go another six holes we probably would have lost," he said.

Golf may be a game of fine margins but there is no gap in quality between the men and the women.

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