Sotogrande call off European Nations’ Championship as coronavirus spreads in Spain

The England men’s team who won the 2019 European Nations’ Championship at Sotogrande Golf Club, in Spain.
The winning England team at last year’s European Nations’ Championship at Sotogrande GC. Back row – Yeovil GC’s Tom Plumb and Bailey Gill, from Lindrick. Front: Tom Sloman, who won the gold individual medal and Northamptonshire County’s Ben Jones (right)

NEXT month’s European Nations’ Championship due to be held at Spain’s Sotogrande Golf Club, have been postponed – along with events in Ireland – because of the coronavirus crisis.

Organisers of the prestigious event at the Sotogrande GC – on the Costa del Sol – have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak in Spain and across Europe.

The announcement was quickly followed by the Golf Union of Ireland’s announcement that the annual boys international against Wales at Caridgan GC, on March 20 and 21, was being called off.

The Irish Ladies Golf Union cancelled the Irish Girls Open Strokeplay at Roganstown, from April 3-5, while the ILGU will also not be sending a team to the French U21 Championship next month.

England’s men and women were due to compete at the European Nations’ on the Costa del Sol along with 15 other countries from April 15-18.

In 2019, the England men’s team struck gold while Tom Sloman, from Somerset’s Taunton and Puckeridge GC, won the individual title.

England’s women earned a bronze medal – their best-ever finish in the event.

Sotogrande Golf Club’s Maria Jose Arias said: “The expansion of COVID-19 leaves us with no other option than to postpone the tournament until there is a favourable scenario without risks.

“Our intention is to be able to host the tournament this year whenever it is possible.

“We deeply regret this situation and wish everyone good health in these difficult times.”

The European Nations’ Championship is not the first top amateur event to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus epidemic, which was upgraded to a pandemic on March 11.

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific – due to be held in the second week of February – was called off first, followed by the Bonallack Trophy, the match between Asia and Europe.

The WAAP will now be played in October, at Thailand’s Siam Country Club, in Pattaya.

The Italian Golf Federation has postponed the Italian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships along with several senior events on the international calendar.

College golf in the USA has also been hit, with the rest of the NCAA season now cancelled.

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