European Tour professional Matthew teams-up with his dad Ian to win prestigious family title in Spain
By ECG Newsdesk
European Tour professional Matthew Southgate and his dad, Ian, clinched the 2016 European Father & Son Golf Championship in dramatic style in Spain after a three-way play-off was required to determine the winners in the scratch category.
Matthew, who finished fourth at the Irish Open earlier this year and 12th in the Open just weeks later, and his five-handicapper father Ian completed the 54 holes of competition in 13-under-par after a storming six-under round on the final day to catch the overnight leaders, amateurs Gareth Bradley and his son Charles from Cheshire.
The Bradleys let slip a four-shot lead to fall into a three-way tie for the top, which also included defending champions Gary Milliner
and his son, Justin.
After all three groups halved the first play-off hole, it was back down the 18th again for the three groups where Matthew eventually secured the victory by holing a 15-foot putt for par in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
“I cannot believe that me and my dad are European champions,” said Matthew. “What a dad, what a legend, what a day. This is such a special event and it means the world to me.”
The win comes just over a year after the 28-year-old defeated testicular cancer, which had put him out of the game for several months.
Meanwhile, the handicap category of the championship was won by defending champions, the Milliners. Their 13-under par total translated to 121 points in the two-ball, better-ball, Stableford competition, which, like the scratch competition, was played over the championship courses at the Costa Ballena Ocean Golf Club and the Sherry Golf Jerez.
Forty-seven teams gathered in this picturesque corner of Cadiz to play golf and have some fun with the family. Golfers from America, Australia, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Ireland and the UK contested the ninth staging of this popular event whilst family and friends also came along for the ride and to cheer on their team.
Several youngsters played in the event but it was Emily Jolly, a 22-handicapper from Germany, who made the history books when she became the first-ever daughter to take part. Just 13-years-old, Emily played alongside her grandfather, Peter, whilst Emily’s father Andy, a British teaching pro in Germany, teamed-up with his son, Miles.
As well as giving players the chance to rub shoulders with European Tour players, the championships were run along the lines of a professional golf event with an official announcer introducing the teams on the tee, scoreboards out on the course, referees on hand to settle any rulings issues, caddies to
carry the bags, and an official photographer to record the event, as well as a host of volunteers to ensure the smooth running of the tournament. Full details and results from the 2016 European Father & Son Golf Championship can be found at www.fatherandsongolf.co.uk