Elite Amateur Players & Professionals
The 2018 season has almost finalised for our amateur and most professional players. The tournaments which are left are the final event of the Ladies European Tour season in Spain (Valdis Jonsdottir) and the Lalla Aicha Ladies European tour School Final (Gudrun Bra Bjorgvinsdottir). Compared to 2017, this year has been a little different in terms of achievements, however it has been a successful one on many fronts.
The highlight of the season so far has been the participation of our best juniors in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October. Ingvar Andri Magnusson and Hulda Clara Gestsdottir became the first Icelandic golf Olympians and with Ingvar taking 9th place in the individual tournament, among a truly world class field of under 18 golfers.
In the European Boys Team Championship (Division 2) in September, Team Iceland secured promotion to the 2019 Division 1 tournament by finishing in third place overall. This represents a significant step forward in terms of achieving the goals of the new elite strategy where our aim is to be competitive at Division 1 level on a continuous basis. Our Men’s team had a relatively successful team event also, finishing 11th and beating Italy comfortably to secure our place in D1 for 2019 also. Our ladies and girls teams finished in last place in their respective events and work is ongoing to become more competitive in the female game.
Team Iceland also took part in the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships in Carton House, Ireland. The results were largely disappointing and as such a new approach will be adopted towards preparing for the 2020 event in Hong Kong, China. Preparations for both Hong Kong 2020 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will begin in earnest in January 2019 with potential candidates playing in Major international tournaments as well as participating in a joint training camp in Florida.
For our professional golfers, the result highlight was the success at the inaugural European Championships in August. Axel Boasson and Birgir Leifur Hafthorsson won the silver medal in the men’s event, losing narrowly to Spain in the final. The mixed team of Axel, Birgir, Olafia Kristinsdottir and Valdis Jonsdottir managed to capture the gold medal,ahead of the home favourites Great Britain.
From an achievement perspective, Haraldur Magnus qualifying to play the Open Championship as the first Icelandic male Major Championship contestant was a great boost for icelandic golf. The media interest from overseas and domestically helped increase the visibility of our golfers and raise awareness of their success. This is a significant step forward for our players, and we now have three professional players who have competed in Major championships over the last couple of years.
In terms of rankings, our best amateur players are edging closer to the top 100 in the world, with Bjarki Petursson best ranked at 171. Several new players have gained a ranking on WAGR which means increased possibility of participation at the best tournaments worldwide for our aspiring golfers. The goal for 2019 remains to help our best golfers develop and become ready for life as professionals. This will be achieved by providing world class support and access to the best international tournaments.