The Cyprus Men’s National Team travelled on Monday, July 31, to Sofia, Bulgaria, to participate in the European Team Shield Championship 2017, at Pravets Golf Club, between 2 and 5 August.
The National Team members for this event are Alexandros ToouIi, George Kalpakas Jr, Nikolas Pitiris and Christopher Kalpakas, and accompanied by CGF’s Secretary General, Nick Rossides.
This is the first-time Cyprus participates in this European event, which is consider as entry level for higher level European events. Cyprus joins another twelve countries, members of the EGA (European Golf Association) at the Pravets GC for this event.
Day 1: Practise Round
Day 2: Stroke Play – Qualification
Day 3: Match play - Quarterfinal
Day 4: Match play - Semifinal
Day 5: Match play – Final
News, live scores and more on the EGA's dedicated webpage below:
August 1 - Day 1: Practice Round
Practice round yesterday with our players enjoying a serious but at the same time relaxing round. Opening ceremony followed in the afternoon, with the business end starting this morning. Today's qualification round order of play for the Cyprus team: Alex Toouli (08:20), Nikolas Pitiris (09:20), George Kalpakas (10:30), Chris kalpakas (11:30)
Left to right: Chris Kalpakas, Alex Toouli, Nikolas Pitiris, George Kalpaks Jr
August 2 - Day 2: Qualification
The Cyprus team qualified today for the knockout stages of the European Men's Team Shield Championship at Pravets GC, Bulgaria.
The Cyprus team secured 7th place after a difficult qualifying round, with rounds of 77 (C Kalpakas), 79 (G Kalpakas) and 82 (N Pitiris), while Alex Toouli retired after 12 holes due to knee injury.
Cyprus' 7th place (22 over par 238) booked a quarter final date for tomorrow with the 2nd placed Lithuanian team who today had a total of 1 over par 217.
Pairings for tomorrow are:
Foursome: C Kalpakas & N Pitiris
Singles Match 1: G Kalpakas
Singles Match 2: A Toouli
August 3 - Day 3: Quarter Final
The Cyprus team went down fighting today, loosing 3 - 0 to a very strong Lithuanian team. At the turn, only some superb golf by the Lithuanians prevented our boys from being in front. Our foursome pairing of Chris Kalpakas and Nikolas Pitiris played an excellent front nine but still found themselves level with the Lithuanian pair. George Kalpakas, playing the first singles match, again found himself all-square with his opponent, even though leading at the early stages by 3 holes, while Alex Toouli, playing through the pain barrier, trailed his opponent by a single hole.
A gruelling back nine and the superiority of the opponents on the day, ended the Cyprus team’s dreams of a semi-final spot for day 4, with our foursomes pairing of Chris and Nikolas going down 3 and 2, George loosing 4 and 3, and brave Alex loosing 5 and 4.
The Lithuanians will now face Malta who have in their team this year’s Cyprus Amateur Men’s Open Champion, JJ Michaleeff.
Even though extremely disappointed in losing out on a semi-final place, the Cyprus team is determined now to give their best in securing the 5th place in the championship.
Our opponents tomorrow will be the hosting country, Bulgaria.
Pairings for the match to play Bulgaria tomorrow will be the same as today, with Chris and Nikolas leading the charge in the foursomes at 08:30, George playing the first singles match at 08:40 and Alex playing the second singles match at 08:50 (REVISED TIMES).
August 4 - Day 4: 5th to 8th Place knock-out stage
The Cyprus team lost today to the host country Bulgaria by 2 - 1, missing the chance to play for the 5th-6th positions tomorrow. The foursomes pairing of Chris and Nikolas, having an off day, lost their match by 5 and 4, after leading the match by 2 holes in the early stages. George however, playing superb golf and shooting 2 under par at the turn, defeated his singles opponent by 7 and 5, finishing his match level par after 13 holes. In our last singles match, Alex played steady but could do nothing against an opponent that on the day could do no wrong, being 3 under par after 13 holes and winning the match by 6 and 5.
Tomorrow, last day of the championship, the team will hope to overcome the team of Lichtenstein and retain the 7th position, as we had qualified on day 1.
For the match against Lichtenstein, Nikolas Pitiris and Alex Toouli will be our foursomes pairing (10:30), with Chris Kalpakas playing the first singles match (10:40) and George Kalpakas the second (10:50).
August 5 - Day 5: 7th & 8th Place match
The Cyprus team today finished in 8th place in the 2017 European Men’s Team Shield Championship after losing 2 – 1 to Lichtenstein. The match went all the way to the 18th green after our foursomes pairing of Nikolas and Alex lost by 4 and 2, while Chris won his match by 2 holes.
In the final singles match, George, playing a very good and steady game, against a strong opponent, found himself trailing by a single hole on the 16th. On the 17th, George quickly recovered nevertheless, to bring the match to all square and set up a nail-biting finish on the 401-meter, par 4, eighteenth. A bogey 5 to his opponent’s par however, was enough to give victory to Lichtenstein and a 7th place finish, leaving Cyprus in 8th place.
Eventual winners of the 2017 European Men’s Team Shield Championship were the team that defeated Cyprus in the quarterfinals, Lithuania, who triumphed 2 -1 over Turkey.
The Cyprus team, even though extremely disappointed, can only benefit from the experience of their first showing on the European stage, learn from it, and come back stronger next year.
I for one, feel extremely proud of all four of my boys. Nick Rossides, Team Captain«« back ««