Team Continental Europe Secures Hero Cup Victory

Francesco Molinari's team claimed a 14.5 - 10.5 victory in Abu Dhabi, as they picked up the Hero Cup in commanding fashion

Meronk and Molinari celebrate
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Going into the final day of the Hero Cup, Continental Europe held a two point lead over Tommy Fleetwood's Great Britain & Ireland team of 10 men. It would be an uphill struggle for team GB&I and, consequently, it showed, as Francesco Molinari's squad claimed a clinical victory in the afternoon singles.

Leading from the front, captain Molinari put away the ever-so dangerous Shane Lowry, with the two Champion Golfers of the Year putting on a super match that saw 13 birdies in 16 holes, as Molinari picked up a 3&2 victory over the Irishman.

Not wanting to be outdone in the captain's stakes, GB&I captain Fleetwood also secured a 3&2 victory over Thomas Pieters, with fellow countryman Tyrrell Hatton claiming the joint biggest victory of the week as he dismantled Antoine Rozner with a 5&4 win.

Nicolai Hojgaard's match with Seamus Power was yet another thriller, as the 21-year-old picked up a 1-up victory over the FedEx Cup leader, Power and, in the following match, Matt Wallace made a real statement as he secured a 2&1 win over Thomas Detry.

Although GB&I were up 3-2 in the opening five matches, it was the final five games where Continental Europe dominated, as they picked up 4&2, 5&4 and 4&3 victories to move nearer to the trophy.

Fleetwood and Luke Donald talk

Fleetwood with 2023 European Ryder Cup captain, Luke Donald

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eventually, it was Poland's Adrian Meronk who secured the winning point, as his lengthy birdie putt never left the hole, dropping in for a crucial win as Continental Europe made it to the magical number 13.

Now 13.5 - 10.5 up, it was Italy's Guido Migliozzi who claimed the final point of the tournament, as a commanding 4&3 victory led to a final 14.5 - 9.5 score line. Speaking after the winning putt, captain Molinari stated that "it's an amazing feeling and I can finally relax!

"It's been great all week and it has been very easy leading them and being a captain for them. I think we found some really good pairings and it's been a fantastic start to the year."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x