Rank outsiders before the start, both the England Women’s team of Charley Hull and Georgia Hall and the European Women’s Team of Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda advanced to the quarter-finals of the six-hole match play event, which played out in perfect conditions in front of a crowd of more than 4,000.
Solheim Cup team-mates Reid and Ciganda did so in thrilling fashion, defeating Thailand 3-0 in their final group game and then beating defending champions Denmark on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off after the teams finished level on points and number of holes won.
Hall had earlier holed from 20 feet for an eagle on the final hole to secure a 1-1 draw with the England Men’s team of Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace, Pepperell having hit a stunning approach to three feet on the par five.
Hall and Hull then thrashed South Africa’s George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous 4-1 and although a last-hole eagle by the Swedish pair of Alexander Bjork and Joakim Lagergren left the two teams tied on four points, the English duo advanced by virtue of having won more holes.
“It’s huge for women’s golf,” Reid, pictured, 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.”
Reid and Ciganda will face Australia’s Wade Ormsby and Sam Brazel in the last eight, while Hull and Hall take on the Irish pair of Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan, who finished top of Group C.
Ireland beat the Scotland team of Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson 3-0 but the Scots bounced back in the second session to draw 1-1 with Italy. But Scotland’s fate was sealed in the third group game when they went down 1-0 to France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Wattel.
Catriona Matthew, the Solheim Cup skipper, formed a European Captains team with her Ryder Cup counterpart Thomas Bjorn but they went down to Spain and Australia before securing a tie with Korea.
Pepperell and Wallace were happy to avoid defeat by Hull and Hall before drawing with Sweden and beating South Africa to set up a last-eight tie with France. In the other quarter-final, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee will take on Korea’s Soomin Lee and Jeunghun Wang.