Britain and Ireland maintains Seve Trophy lead
SAINT-NOM-LA-BRETECHE, France — Continental Europe picked up 3 1/2 out of five points in fourball matches Friday to reduce Britain and Ireland’s lead to one point in the Vivendi Seve Trophy.
Britain and Ireland led 4-1 after Thursday’s fourballs, but Continental Europe won three matches and halved one on Friday to cut the margin to 5 1/2 to 4 1/2 heading into the weekend.
Peter Hanson and Alexander Noren beat Englishmen Ian Poulter and Robert Rock 5 and 3 to give Continental Europe the first point.
Thomas Bjorn and Raphael Jacquelin halved their match with Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson.
Mark Foster and Lee Westwood defeated Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari 5 and 3 for Britain and Ireland’s only win.
Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal beat Darren Clarke and David Horsey 3 and 2, while Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero defeated Ross Fisher and Scott Jamieson by two holes.
The play on Saturday involves four greensomes and four foursomes, and the event ends Sunday with 10 singles matches.
The late Spanish great Seve Ballesteros created the event, a biennial competition, to help Europeans get more match-play experience outside the Ryder Cup.
Britain and Ireland has won the trophy five straight times after Continental Europe captured the inaugural event in 2000.
On Friday, Noren made a strong impression in his debut. He secured victory on the 15th hole by hitting an outstanding 2-iron approach shot, followed by an eagle putt.
Westwood was the key for Britain and Ireland’s win. The second-ranked Englishman made three birdies and an eagle.