Poles come second in European Ladies’ Team Shield Championship
After a cut-throat competition with the Turkish team in the final of the European Ladies’ Team Shield Championship (August 2-5, 2017), the Polish squad composed of: Dominika Gradecka, Dorota Zalewska, Nicole Polivchak and Maria Żrodowska came in second place, winning the silver medal of the championship.
The third edition of the tournament was hosted by the Bulgarian course Pravets Golf Resort (par 72). As our national team coach, Mike O’Brien, commented, general conditions were good: “A few holes could have been problematic for our ladies. The layout was short and they had to play accurately.”
The stroke play round was played on the first day. Unfortunately, since Nicole Polivchak did not feel well, the team was weakened. Still, the ladies were ranked 4th in team classification with 234 strokes (3 best results from the team were counted). Better were golfers from Latvia (220), Turkey (225), and Hungary (232).
Dorota Zalewska (Binowo Park GC) and Dominika Gradecka (Gradi GC) shared the 10th place after shooting a 77. Maria Żrodowska (Tokary GC) was ranked 19th with 80 strokes.
“We had a strong squad and were sure we would secure our place in the top eight. The fourth place in stroke play is a very good result but, at the same time, the hardest path to the final” – said O’Brien.
The match stage was next. The golfers defending the “white and red” colours played against Serbia in the quarter-final. A foursome playoff Gradecka/ Żrodowska, which continued till the 23rd hole, decided whether the Polish team could move to the next stage (Zalewska won her match, Polivchak lost it). As the golfers admitted, it was one of the most difficult matches they have managed to win and advance to the semi-final.
In the match with the Latvians, Dorota Zalewska won 3&2 with Linda Dobele, who had the second result in the stroke play stage. Nicole Polivchak beat the winner of the stroke play stage, Anna Svanka, 3&1. The foursome match played by Dominika Gradecka and Maria Żrodowska was stopped on the 19th hole and our ladies advanced to the final.
The Turkish squad, who came in second place in stroke play, is a strong team and decisive matches against them promised to be very exciting.
“The match against the Turkish team was very demanding because they had a very good team. The victory was beyond our reach” – said Dominika Gradecka.
“We had a chance to win with the Turkish team, but we didn’t play the best golf on that day” – added Dorota Zalewska, who won her match against Selin Timur (HCP 0) 3&2.
Eventually, the Turkish team won 2:1 and they were the ones to lift the cup of the European Ladies’ Team Shield Championship.
“We lost the final but, after all, we came in second place and won the silver medal. This championship was very fruitful” – summed up Maria Żrodowska.
Dominka Gradecka added that the team’s attitude was important from the very beginning: “We were coming to this tournament with a very good attitude. We knew that we had a strong team.” The tournament, however, left our ladies unsatisfied and Zalewska has already announced revenge next year: “We’ll be back here next year and we’ll try to win this tournament. I’m really satisfied with the team. The girls gave their utmost. The place on the podium will definitely give us more confidence and leeway during next tournaments.”
“The girls played very well. During this tournament, our ladies gained valuable experience and it will be an important position in their golf CV. Their performance was great” – summarised Mike O’Brien.