Loretto Golf Academy trip to compete at the European Schools' Championships.

The Golf Academy had a very successful trip to Desert Springs in Spain during half-term to compete in the Desert Springs and Millfield European Schools’ Championship. The trip is open to all golfers at Loretto and, as it is a handicap event, it is a great way for our younger and also higher handicapped players to gain valuable tournament experience. Loretto travelled with 28 players spread between 2nd Form to Upper 6th and handicap range 0-28 which made up seven teams for the tournament and the biggest entry of all the other schools.

After a very early departure from Loretto on the Friday, we eventually arrived at the resort mid-afternoon. After checking into the accommodation, the players had a couple of hours of practice using the excellent driving range and short game facilities.

Saturday was our first practice round when we played a Loretto stableford competition to keep things interesting as we got to know the course. Harry Austin won the gross section and Johan Behmer won the handicap.

Sunday was our final practice round and the winners of the Loretto challenge were Harry again for the best gross.

Round 1 of the tournament was better ball with players receiving 3/4 of their handicap. The weather was cool and quite windy making scoring tough, but our players felt at home working their ball through the wind.

The Loretto teams got off to an excellent start with Loretto 5 (Ayub Sethi, Johan Behmer, Sam Stones and Angus Keenan) setting the early pace with team 3 (Jonas Byok, Moritz Gerbhardt, Luisa Deutzmann and Cameron Gray) tied at the top with 75 points. Loretto 1 (Lou Tan, Harry Austin, Yannick Artigolle and Caroline Zolg) one point back on 74. Loretto 6 was placed 7th, Loretto 2 - 11th, Loretto 4 - 12th and Loretto 7 - 14th.

Round 2 was also better ball but played in much more favourable conditions with less wind and the sun came out for a really pleasant day. Overall we held our own on a low scoring day with Loretto 3 maintaining their position at the top of the leader board on 161 points and Loretto 1 remained in 3rd on 157 points. Millfield 1 made a big move jumping into 2nd place on 160 points. Loretto 5 were in 7th, Loretto 6 - 8th, Loretto 2 - 10th, Loretto 4 - 15th and Loretto 7 - 17th.

The final round was singles strableford with players with a handicap of 4 or better playing from the championship tees, and the best 2 scores from each team going towards the team score. Loretto 3 were neck and neck with Millfield all day but an unfortunate lost ball for Luisa on the 11th was an unfortunate turning point. After a perfect drive straight down the middle, we were unable to find her ball. After 5 minutes of searching and Luisa playing another tee shot, the ball was finally found in the middle of the fairway down a rabbit hole. This bad fortune cost her 2 points which was the difference between 1st and 2nd. The final standing had Loretto 3 in 2nd, Loretto 1  - 4th, Loretto 5 - 9th, Loretto 2 - 11th, Loretto 6 - 12th, Loretto 4 - 13th and Loretto 7 - 18th out of 21 teams.

It was an excellent trip and the players were a credit to the school both on and off the golf course.

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