England Women and Europe Women progress at GolfSixes in St Albans

Golf
Charley Hull and Georgia Hall progressed
Charley Hull and Georgia Hall progressed

England Women and Europe Women both advanced to the quarter-finals of GolfSixes after an enthralling opening day in St Albans.

Charley Hull and Georgia Hall edged to second place in Group D on holes won, despite losing their final match to Sweden, while fellow Solheim Cup players Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda progressed after a play-off with Denmark in Group A.

Reid and Ciganda appeared set for an early exit when they trailed Denmark after losing their opening match, but a birdie at the final hole for a 1-1 draw kept their hopes alive.

With Thailand already through, both Denmark and Europe Women won their final round-robin matches to set-up a play-off and a clumsy three-putt from the defending champions saw them eliminated.

"It's huge for women's golf," Reid said. "I have absolute faith in our partnership and we would have been disappointed not to get through to Sunday and my sister would have killed me because she only just arrived.

"This is a huge opportunity to showcase women's golf. We don't get the coverage and we don't get as supported as I feel like we should and an event like this is huge for us."

England Women started their campaign with a draw against their male counterparts Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell, which came courtesy of a sublime eagle putt from Hall on the closing hole.

They went on to beat South Africa 4-1 and while losing 2-1 to Sweden, the result of that game became inconsequential when Hull's putt at the fifth hole meant Alex Bjork and Joakim Lagergren could no longer catch them on count-back.

Wallace and Pepperell topped Group D after a 2-1 victory over South Africa, with their compatriots through in second.

"It's really cool to go through, I don't think a lot of people thought we would do that well," said Hull, whose stunning tee shot on the opening hole had prompted Pepperell and Wallace to jokingly make a run for the exit.

"I feel more nervous in this event. I think it's because if you play bad it would make women's golf look bad."

In Group B, Australia and Korea both went unbeaten to finish first and second respectively to progress.

The pair played out a 2-2 draw in the first round of matches, before Australia beat 'Captains' team Thomas Bjorn and Catriona Matthew 2-1 and Korea saw off Spain 3-1.

When Spain lost their final match to Australia 3-2, it meant that they headed out with the Aussie duo of Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby topping the table from Soomin Lee and Jeunghun Wang.

Ireland, playing in the event as a wildcard pairing, beat Scotland and Italy to top Group C, leaving France needing a win against Scotland to join them in the knockout stages.

France led 1-0 going to the final hole, and Italy needed Scotland - already out of the competition - to take it to send them through ahead of the French.

Scotland birdied the hole after Scott Jamieson's eagle putt came up just short, but Italy were sent out when Mike Lorenzo Vera holed from 15 feet to earn a hard-fought success for France.

Draw details

Quarter-finals

Thailand v Korea

Ireland v England Women

Australia v Europe Women

England v France

Semi-finals

Thailand/Korea v Ireland/England Women

Australia/Europe Women v England/France

Revised betting

England women are into 9/1 for GolfSixes glory, having been advised at 50/1 pre-tournament by golf expert Ben Coley, while Europe Women are 16/1 outsiders.

Thailand head the betting at 7/2, England are 4/1, while Australia, Ireland and France can all be backed at 6/1.

Korea complete the line-up for Sunday and are 15/2.

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