Europe: Costa Ballena Men’s Octangular International Challenge (final day)

STRONG DEFENCE: The full England squad with players and management

England come unstuck as Spain win on home ground for 11th time

EUROPE: Sunday, January 30th

FORMAT: Team Matchplay (Group Qualifiers)

It wasn’t to be for England as Spain won the Costa Ballena Men’s Octangular International Challenge for the 11th time yesterday.

The reigning champions had stormed into the final after hugely impressive victories over France and Ireland but the hosts, who have dominated the event since its inception in 2001, came good just when it mattered.

England, who won the competition in 2020 when it was last played, trailed after the morning foursomes 2-1 and just couldn’t get any momentum in the afternoon and eventually lost 6-3. 

Lancashire’s Jack Brooks, who lost both his matches in the final after impressing the previous two days, paid tribute to his team-mates and the new champions. 

“We gave it everything, but it wasn’t good enough to beat a very talented Spain side,” Brooks told England Golf.

“Our preparations were spot-on all week and we played well as a team to win the group matches.

“The conditions were tough, quite windy, for the final and we just came up against a good Spain side that deserved it on the day.”

Olly Huggins picked up 1.5 points out of two to round off an excellent personal week. The BB&O player finished with 4.5 points overall to leave him as joint top scorer alongside British Boys champion Jack Bigham. 

FIRST/SECOND PLAY-OFF: SPAIN 6, ENGLAND 3
Foursomes
– Jamie Montoto & Angel Ayora A/S with Sam Bairstow (Hallowes) & Jack Bigham (Harpenden)
– Jose Pardo & Alvaro Portillo A/S with Arron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) & Olly Huggins (Frilford) 3&2
– Luis Masaveu & Alejandro Aguilera beat Jack Cope (The Players Club) and Jack Brooks (The Mere) 3&2
Singles
– Ayora beat Bigham 3&2
– Montojo beat Edwards-Hill 1 hole
– Pardo lost to Bairstow 2&1
– Aguilera beat Brooks 4&3
– Portillo lost to Huggins 4&3
– Masaveu beat Cope 5&4
OTHER SCORES
Day 1:
Portugal 1, Spain 8; Germany 7, Italy 2; France 4.5, Ireland 4.5.
Day 2: Portugal 2, Germany 7; Spain 4.5, Italy 4.5; France 2.5, England 6.5
Day 3: Germany 2, Spain 7; Portugal 3, Italy 6; Ireland 2.5, England 6.5
Day 4 – 5th/6th play-off: Italy 6, Ireland 3. 3rd/4th play-off: Germany 3, France 6