Team Jenahura’s Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez win the Mens European Golf Team Championship Gold Medal for Spain at Gleneagles
It was a dreich day at Gleneagles for the final day’s play in the inaugural event sanctioned by the European Tour. Team Spain-1 came from behind in their semi-final match against Italy to win 2-Up and earn a place in the Gold Medal match. Earlier in the week the Spanish pair eased into the semi-finals with a game to spare following victories in their opening two matches against Portugal and Poland.
With gusty winds and rain hammering down at Gleneagles, the Spanish pair gained an early advantage before Team Iceland pegged them back with two excellent birdies on the 4th and 5th holes.
A birdie two on the difficult 6th hole squared the match before the Icelandic pair made a mess of the 7th and 8th to hand Spain a two hole advantage. Another win on the Par-5 ninth put Oriol and Fernandez 3-up at the turn.
With the weather worsening at Gleneagles, birdies were hard to come by. The Spanish pair looked in complete control until their spirited Icelandic opposition – Axel Boasson and Birgir Hafthorsson pegged the game back to 2-up with six to play.
The short par-4 14th presented a decisive moment down the stretch when Pedro holed an excellent 10 foot putt for birdie to pile the pressure on the Icelandic duo. Axel Boasson missed his birdie attempt to restore the Spanish pair’s 3-hole lead with just four to play.
Another good putt for par from our man on 15. 3-Up with three to play and surely Spain would take the gold medal? This is foursomes however and at the end of a long day in dire conditions the gritty pair from Iceland fought back with a birdie at the 16th and when Fernandez missed a short putt for par to win on 17 the four gladiators were heading down the last with Spain now just 1-Up!
Boasson and Oriol both found the trees from the tee on 18. Playing partners Hafthorsson and Fernandez could only advance up the fairway before an exquisite wedge from Pedro to within 10-feet of the hole applied the pressure once again on Iceland. Axel Boasson responded with an excellent shot of his own that finished just outside of Spain’s ball. When Hafthorsson missed his birdie attempt, Spain had two putts to win but Fernandez needed just one, cooly slotting home for a birdie four to take top spot and the Gold Medal for Spain.
An overjoyed and emotional Oriol said “It has always been my dream to win for my country. Receiving the Golf Medal and hearing the Spanish National Anthem gave me goose bumps. I am very proud!”
The European Golf Team Championship is an official European Tour event and in addition to the trophy and gold medals, Scott and Pedro each walk away with €100,000 – their biggest career cheques to date. There won’t be a great deal of time to celebrate however as both men resume their Race to Dubai campaigns in Sweden for the Nordea Masters starting on Thursday.
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S P E D R O & S C O T T !