Continental Europe win Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi

Captain Molinari set the tone with a 3&2 victory over Irishman Shane Lowry in the opening match

By Team KT

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The victorious team pose with the trophy. — Supplied photo
The victorious team pose with the trophy. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 15 Jan 2023, 6:26 PM

Continental Europe defeated Great Britain and Ireland 14 ½—10 ½ to win the inaugural Hero Cup after collecting six points from the Sunday Singles session at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Italian Francesco Molinari’s team started the day with a two-point lead so knew they needed only four and half points to win the first edition of the new match play event and they made the perfect start.


Captain Molinari set the tone with a 3&2 victory over Irishman Shane Lowry in the opening match of the day to ensure he ended the week unbeaten, dropping only half a point in the Friday fourballs.

Great Britain and Ireland bounced straight back with wins in matches three and four, with their captain Tommy Fleetwood beating Thomas Pieters 3&2, before England’s Tyrrell Hatton defeated Frenchman Antoine Rozner 5&4 to swing the momentum back in their favour.


Then came what proved to be the pivotal matches, with a stretch of tightly-contested pairings. Séamus Power and Denmark’s Nicolai Højgaard went toe-to-toe with the Irishman going two up through three holes, before the Dane reeled off a trio of birdies before the turn. Power got back on level terms with a birdie at the 13th but the point ultimately went to the Continental Europe team, as a Højgaard birdie at the 16th was enough for a one up victory.

Matt Wallace’s 2&1 victory over Thomas Detry kept the Great Britain and Ireland hopes alive, but Victor Perez – who finished the week unbeaten – completed a 4&2 win against Jordan Smith while Ewen Ferguson went down 5&4 to Sepp Straka to put Continental Europe within half a point of securing the trophy.

That meant it all came down to Poland’s Adrian Meronk. The two-time DP World Tour winner had lost all three of his matches across the first two days, but he made it count when it mattered as he holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the last to secure both a one up triumph over Callum Shinkwin and the Hero Cup for Continental Europe.

While Meronk was holing the all-important putt, both teams added one point to their overall tallies as Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre won 5&3 against Swede Alex Noren, before Italy’s Guido Migliozzi retained his unbeaten record with a 4&3 win against Richard Mansell, from England.


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