A QUARTET of North West golfers helped England score a convincing 19-11 win over Spain to regain the Seve Ballesteros Trophy at the end of the two-day mixed international at Burnham & Berrow.
The team, which included Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park), Sean Towndrow (S&A), Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) and Hollie Muse (West Lancs), built on yesterday’s four-point lead with a steady foursomes performance – sharing the morning points – and a runaway success in the singles, winning six of the matches and halving two more.
The result extends England’s outstanding record in the biennial match, which started in 1985. The team lost last time – at El Prat in 2013 – but in total now have 14 victories to Spain’s two – and have never been beaten at home.
“It’s a fantastic result,” said Graham Walker, the England men’s captain. “The welcome we have received from the members and staff at Burnham and Berrow, has really played a part because it has made it feel like a real home venue.”
This is the first time that women have been included in the team and they certainly played their part. Clews, like Chesters, won all four of her matches.
Steve Robinson, the women’s captain, said: “I am really proud of how they have worked this week, how they have risen to the challenge of playing what, on paper, was a very, very strong Spanish women’s team. Every player has played their part this week.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of coaching a small group of players at a venue like this and I feel it’s been massively beneficial to the women’s squad to have been invited to play in this match.”
The day began in relatively calm conditions and England produced a fighting performance to share the foursomes.
England’s two wins were provided by Clews and Muse; and by Chesters and Jimmy Mullen, who set off at high speed, with five birdies in the first eight holes and who won on the 14th.
In the afternoon, with the wind strengthening, the Spanish started strongly in the women’s games and were ahead in three of the four until the turn. However, Clews was always in front and put England’s first point on the board.
Mullen was the first of the England men to claim his point with a comprehensive 6&4 win which resulted from immaculate play: just one bogey, two birdies and a string of pars.
Towndrow was in front throughout his match and his highlights included driving the 370-yard third hole, with his ball finishing about 8ft from the cup – and he wasn’t required to putt.
Chesters, the double European Champion, trailed by two holes towards the turn, but he was back on level terms with a birdie on 10 and a par on 11. He got ahead for the first time with a par on the 15th and held on to the slender advantage to win one up.