Moving on…

The two most hectic weeks of the year in amateur golf are over for this time. The European Championships; men’s, boys’, women’s and girls’, all take place during a two week spell in early July. As every year these two weeks are a pretty good indicator of what is happening in European golf. Not too long ago certain countries could pretty much walk through the qualifying process, find themselves in the A-flight and start playing for real once things got towards the semifinals. This is not the case anymore. In the men’s event I would say that 15 teams fought hard for the 8 spots in the top flight. Any of those with the help of two good days could have made it there. At the conclusion it ended up being two very established countries in the final; Scotland and England, but perhaps this was also down to the way the course played. It was a true links playing dry and firm for most of the week. In the boys’ event the number of teams fighting for the top flight spots were probably about the same. In the end Denmark played Germany in the final, the Czech Republic made the top 8 and Wales found themselves in the third flight. Of course this is great for golf and it won’t take long until this is reflected also in the top end of the professional game.

The two England Teams, men and boys, each lost one match in the top flight. This meant that the men’s team brought home the silver medals while the boys had to settle for 5th place, having lost to Germany in the quarter final. Not what the team came there to do but certainly what can happen in today’s golf.

Looking forward to the coming week it is again time for the greatest tournament in golf, the Open Championship. This time at Turnberry. As always it is interesting to see how the big guns prepare for the event. The usual way is to play the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. Even though this is an astonishing place and I can understand why playing there is an easy choice, it is not exactly an Open type of golf course. Padraig Harrington on the other hand used what before has proved to be a winning formula for him – he stayed at home, won the Irish PGA Championships and got another links tournament under his belt. It will be interesting to see what that is worth once the tournament gets going at Turnberry!

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