|2023||Abu Dhabi Golf Club||Continental Europe|
2023: Continental Europe
The inaugural team competition of the Hero Cup saw a Francesco Molinari-led Continental Europe post a 14.5-10.5 victory over Tommy Fleetwood’s Great Britain and Ireland Team.
There was little to split the teams in the opening day’s four-balls, with Continental Europe doing enough to take a one-point lead into Saturday’s foursomes. By the end of that day that lead had been doubled, thanks in large part to the combination of captain Molinari and talented 21 year old Nicolai Højgaard, who won both of their matches.
Great Britain and Ireland made a strong start to the singles on Sunday, with wins for Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton helping to close the gap, but back came Molinari’s side, with Højgaard and Sepp Straka winning their matchups to edge Continental Europe closer to victory.
In the end, it was left to Poland’s Adrian Meronk to seal the deal, and he did so in some style. Sitting on 12 points, Meronk knew a win over Callum Shinkwin would take his team onto the 13-point threshold in this best-of-25-points competition. Dead level heading to the 18th hole, the Pole found himself with the opportunity to win it if he could find a birdie. One expertly judged 30ft putt later, and Continental Europe were confirmed as the first winners of this exciting addition to the golfing calendar.