supported by Glenmuir and Calidona
Red Dragons roar to victory at Roda
Wales exorcised the disappointment of being beaten in a play-off by Austria two years ago by winning the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship at Roda today.
And they did so in style, putting three strokes between themselves and their closest pursuer in the 24-strong field after beginning the fourth and final round sharing pole position with England.
England had led the Glenmuir and Calidona-sponsored tournament at the PGA-branded academy and course in Murcia, Spain, from day one but faltered in the final round.
Their team of Paul Simpson, Jason Robinson and Paul Wesselingh posted two-under-par and had to settle for joint-second place with Switzerland.
The challenge of France, Switzerland, and Italy, who overnight were third, fourth and fifth respectively, also failed to materialise.
Jason Powell, as he had in the second and third rounds, led the way with a three-under-par 69 and Andrew Barnett weighed in two-under.
Barnett’s round included an eagle at the par five tenth as a result of him holing out from a greenside bunker. “That got me going,” said Barnett, who was two-over at the turn. “I made two birdies immediately after that.”
The third member of the trio, captain James Lee, was indebted to his team-mates after carding a two-over par 74.
“They helped me out big time today,” he said. “And although I’m a little disappointed with the way I played, I’m delighted with the win. It makes up for losing in a play-off to Austria two years ago. Andy and I were both in that team and it was bitterly disappointing.
Captaining Wales to victory was a perfect finale to a memorable season for Lee who won the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship at Dundonald Links in the summer and represented Great Britain and Ireland in the PGA Cup.
“It had been a great year already and this really tops it off,” he added. “It’s great for Wales and a vote of thanks to our sponsors, Asbri Golf, a Welsh company who supplied us with accessories, and Ryder Cup Wales, who have doen a huge amount for golf in the country.”
Meanwhile, defending champions Ireland were left to rue what might have been after finally getting their game together in the final round. The Irish, who turned the tournament into a procession last year, languished on four-under, 11 strokes off the pace overnight.
But a round of eight-under, courtesy of all three members – David Ryan, Peter Martin and John Kelly – carding rounds of 68, saw them finish joint-fourth with France on 12-under.
Final Scores – Click Here