European Team Championships
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1999
The Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland team, ably led by manager, Frank Smith (I.G.B.) and captain, Brendan O'Shea (Shandon) romped to a superb victory 6-1 in the final of the inaugural European Team championship at The West Park course in Chelmsford, Essex on Friday/Saturday June 11th/12th 1999.
Lightning flashed and thunder roared on Saturday but nothing could deflect the Irish from their goal and they overcame hosts, Great Britain 6-1, having led 2-0 after the foursomes. On Friday, Ireland had qualified for the semi-finals as winners of Pool A, having defeated Catalonia by 4-1 and France by 5-0. Having split the semi-final foursomes 1-1 with Italy, the Irish took all five singles to advance to the final.
1999 Champions - Ireland Derry McCarthy from the Deerpark club in Killarney emerged as the Irish lynchpin, winning each of the six matches he played. Central roles were also played by Liam O'Donovan (Bruff), who won five matches out of six (and lost the sixth in sudden death having three putted the final regulation green to lose a one up advantage against Great Britain's Joe James in the final singles), Frank O'Donoghue of Templebreedy, who won five out of six (and had the satisfaction of securing the crucial fourth point in the final to clinch the European title), Junior Smith (Lucan) with five out of six and skipper, Brendan O'Shea), who won three out of four singles (he sat out both foursomes). Manager Frank Smith can take great credit for his tactical nous in plotting the four victories.
To see six nations involved in a Pitch and Putt tournament was a marvellous spectacle and made all the hard work worthwhile. It was another positive milestone on the Pitch and Putt development road. Our compliments to the British Pitch and Putt Union and Golfwise Ltd. for the excellence of the organisation and the arrangements for the 1999 European Team Championship at West Park. The championship ran like clockwork and was marked by some excellent sponsorship and some delightful touches, such as special flags, scoreboards, balls, tees etc. Congratulations on a job well done.