The Malta golf team have reached the European Men’s Team Shield Championship final for the second successive year.
The national team composed of Andy Borg, Ruud Critien, JJ Micallef and Laurens Schulze Doering are currently at the Pannonia Golf & Country Club in Budapest Hungary participating in the eighth edition of the European Team Shield Championships organised by the European Golf Association. They are joined by MGA president, William Beck, and national coach, Justin Walsh.
The ETSC was first held in 2015 when Malta achieved fifth place. Since then, Malta always featured on the podium having won four bronze and two silver the latest of which was last year in Latvia when the team lost to Lithuania by the slightest of margins.
Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine were the other countries participating in this year’s tournament.
All golf is being played off scratch and competition was tough especially in the match play knock out rounds. Based on their past performance, the Malta team has been ranked second in this tournament with the host country granted the honorary first ranking place.
The team placed first in the stroke play qualifier. Individual scores of -3; +2; +2 and +3 from Micallef, Borg, Critien and Schulze Doering respectively for an aggregate score of +1.
This meant they played Liechtenstein in the quarter-finals and all players put on a dominant display.
Critien and Micallef went out first in the Foursomes match where they led from the start and won their match 4&3.
Borg secured the two points needed to advance to the semi-final with a 7&6 win over Ignacio Laulhe.
With the result already determined, Laurens being 3 up on the 15th hole, showed great sportsmanship and offered a halve to his opponent, Florian Schapper.
In the semi-finals, Malta faced Serbia. Another victory for the foursomes pairing consisting of Critien and Micallef. They beat their opponents 2&1.
Borg and Schulze Doering followed them in the singles matches. Schulze Doering led from the start and closed off his match on the 16th hole for a 3&2 win.
Borg also led from the start but was pegged back by his opponent and was 1 down after 13 holes. He turned the match around when he went 2up with two holes to play.
With a place in the final confirmed, the Maltese Team showed great sportsmanship once again when Borg offered a half to his Serbian opponent.
Malta will play Greece in Saturday’s final. This will commence early morning due to bad weather expected throughout the day.
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