European Championships

Just when you thought it was all over and Spain had walked away with the trophy, it hasn’t even started!

Although of course a much downsized version of the Championship that reached the final on Sunday in Vienna, golf’s equivalent is due to start on Tuesday in Turin. The England Team with Charlie Ford, Matt Haines, Sam Hutsby, Steve Uzzell, Dale Whitnell and Chris Wood lead by Captain Jonathan Plaxton and Coach David Ridley arrived in Italy on Saturday to settle in and prepare for the Tuesday face off. Captain Plaxton has promised to do a daily update which he has agreed to let me publish on this blog. I will however delete all the team secrets before. So, here is Plaxton vol 1 from Turin;

Saturday.
The whole team (players plus Ridley, Hemmings and Larmour) except for Charlie Ford arrived Turin Saturday a.m without a hitch.
Met at the airport by a stunner (Italian Federation clearly out to use every way they can to spoil our focus!) And it worked for 10 minutes!
Relaxed lunch followed by private time and then a run in the park + workout. Meantime Tim Stephens took me to meet Charlie Ford who arrived via Gatwick from Glasgow following victory over Team U.S.A in The Palmer Cup.

Team meeting followed with an excellent mix of contributions and open dialogue. Clearly a universal hunger for success!

Dinner then had in an English pub adjacent the hotel with an early night following the 4 a.m start.

Sunday
Overcast start but warm and humid. At Saturday team meet players were asked to consider preferred start times in strokeplay noting wide spread of our tee times and the difference in weather conditions from a.m to p.m. Practice went well and the course is in excellent shape but playing long due to heavy rain in recent days. The facilities and food are excellent. The return coach trip was an experience in a thunder storm and with the roads flooded. Goodness knows how long the course will play on Monday!! Forecast for Monday is showers (if there’s any water left to come down) and hot (80 – 90 degrees).

All the players look to be in good form and an excellent rapport has developed between the 6 of them in particular. Monday pairings see Haines Ford and Uzzell play together with Wood Hutsby and Whitnell partnering each other. Format is 1 from 3 first 6 holes then 2 from 3 and finally 3 from 3 on the final 6 holes. So far so good!

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