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Continental Europe hold on to claim Hero Cup golf championship

Poland’s Adrian Meronk sank the decisive putt as Continental Europe held off Great Britain and Ireland in Sunday’s singles to win the inaugural Hero Cup.

Francesco Molinari’s side had an 8.5-6.5 lead overnight at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and built on that, winning six of the 10 singles games to triumph 14.5 to 10.5.

The 2018 British Open champion Molinari led from the front with a 3&2 victory over Shane Lowry.

Britain and Ireland captains Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton posted comfortable 3&2 and 5&4 wins over Thomas Pieters and Antoine Rozner, and Matt Wallace kept them in the hunt with a 2&1 success over Thomas Detry.

But the Continentals maintained their advantage as Nicolai Hojgaard beat Seamus Power one up, while Victor Perez and Sepp Straka were too strong for Jordan Smith and Ewen Ferguson.

Meronk then nailed his birdie putt from more than 30 feet on the 18th green in his one-up victory over England’s Callum Shinkwin to see the Continental Europe team home.

“I think both teams showed a very competitive but fair spirit. Obviously, to my guys — incredible job. I’m super proud of each one of you.

“I got to know some guys that I didn’t know very well, and I can say that European golf is in very safe hands.”

Fleetwood said: “We obviously came here to win and wanted to do it for each other.

“The first thing I said at the start of the week was ‘your team-mates don’t remember if you play bad, miss a putt or lose a point.’

“But everybody remembers if you don’t give 100 per cent, and I couldn’t have asked for any more from anybody this week.”

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald was in attendance ahead of this year’s edition against the United States in Rome.

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