Going into the final day of the Hero Cup, Continental Europe held a two point lead over Tommy Fleetwood’s Great Britain & Ireland team of 10 men. It would be an uphill struggle for team GB&I and, consequently, it showed, as Francesco Molinari’s squad claimed a clinical victory in the afternoon singles.
Leading from the front, captain Molinari put away the ever-so dangerous Shane Lowry, with the two Champion Golfers of the Year putting on a super match that saw 13 birdies in 16 holes, as Molinari picked up a 3&2 victory over the Irishman.
Not wanting to be outdone in the captain’s stakes, GB&I captain Fleetwood also secured a 3&2 victory over Thomas Pieters, with fellow countryman Tyrrell Hatton claiming the joint biggest victory of the week as he dismantled Antoine Rozner with a 5&4 win.
Nicolai Hojgaard’s match with Seamus Power was yet another thriller, as the 21-year-old picked up a 1-up victory over the FedEx Cup leader, Power and, in the following match, Matt Wallace made a real statement as he secured a 2&1 win over Thomas Detry.
Although GB&I were up 3-2 in the opening five matches, it was the final five games where Continental Europe dominated, as they picked up 4&2, 5&4 and 4&3 victories to move nearer to the trophy.
Eventually, it was Poland’s Adrian Meronk who secured the winning point, as his lengthy birdie putt never left the hole, dropping in for a crucial win as Continental Europe made it to the magical number 13.
Now 13.5 – 10.5 up, it was Italy’s Guido Migliozzi who claimed the final point of the tournament, as a commanding 4&3 victory led to a final 14.5 – 9.5 score line. Speaking after the winning putt, captain Molinari stated that “it’s an amazing feeling and I can finally relax!
“It’s been great all week and it has been very easy leading them and being a captain for them. I think we found some really good pairings and it’s been a fantastic start to the year.”