Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Continental Europe won five singles matches on Sunday to edge Great Britain & Ireland, 15 - 13, and capture the Seve Trophy for the first time since 2000.
Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez set the tone with a 6 & 4 rout of David Lynn, who was battling the flu, as Continental Europe ended a string of six consecutive defeats at this event.
Continental Europe was ahead after the first two days, but GB&I rallied during Saturday's foursomes to pull even, 9 - 9, entering the singles. Both teams were awarded a half point Sunday morning when GB&I's Simon Khan withdrew with a back injury, which forced Continental European to eliminate one of its players as well. Thomas Bjorn drew that unlucky distinction, leaving both sides in need of five points for the victory.
The singles went down to the final match, and as he did at the Ryder Cup in Medinah, Francesco Molinari anchored the winning side, securing a long-awaited Continental Europe victory with a 3 & 2 defeat of Chris Wood at Saint-Nom-La- Breteche.
"Very emotional -- it's been a tough day," said winning captain Jose Maria Olazabal. "Everything went to the last match. The boys really played well today and I'm very, very happy to have won the Seve Trophy this time."
GB&I struck first on Sunday when Tommy Fleetwood claimed his first point of the week with a 3 & 2 win over Joost Luiten, who was unbeaten entering the match.
After Jamie Donaldson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano halved their match, Ryder Cup standout Nicolas Colsaerts drew Continental Europe even, draining a 5- footer for par at the last to secure a 1-up win over Paul Casey.
Frenchman Gregory Bourdy then continued his stellar play and pushed Continental Europe in front with a 4 & 3 triumph over Scott Jamieson. Bourdy, who never trailed in the match, became the first player in the event's history to win five points out of five.
"I'm so happy to achieve that, and it was an amazing week for me," said Bourdy.
The jostling continued, however, as Marc Warren wrapped up a 4 & 3 ousting of Thorbjorn Olesen to again square the tournament, 12 - 12, with four matches left on the course.
From there, Continental Europe took control.
Jimenez put the finishing touches on his convincing win, which was aided in part by the ailing Lynn, who twice dropped his ball into the water. Matteo Manassero then increased Continental Europe's advantage to a pair with a 3 & 2 defeat of Stephen Gallacher.
Paul Lawrie showed the GB&I mettle with a 2 & 1 win over Mikko Ilonen, but Molinari was in control at that point, holding a 2-up lead over Wood through 14 holes.
After the pair matched birdies at the 15th, Molinari dropped his tee shot at the par-3 17th within 12 feet and drained the birdie putt to seal the Continental Europe victory.
"It was going to go down to the last three matches at least," continued Olazabal. "We had a pretty good start, then Great Britain & Ireland took over and we started to see some reds on the board. But the boys kept their composure and played really well, especially these last few matches, they played really great golf."
NOTES: Continental Europe's only other win at the Seve Trophy came in 2000, the event's inaugural year ... Bourdy made his first Seve Trophy appearance. He and Luiten were undefeated in their four matches from Thursday through Saturday ... Fernandez-Castano was a late replacement for Peter Hanson, who withdrew on Monday due to an injured back.