GB&I draws even at Seve Trophy

Paris, France ( - Great Britain & Ireland won three foursome matches Saturday afternoon at the Seve Trophy to pull even with Continental Europe, 9-9, entering Sunday's singles.

GB&I, winners of the last six stagings of this event, trailed by a point overnight and saw that deficit double when Continental Europe won the morning foursomes, 2 1/2 - 1 1/2. But Sam Torrance's squad rallied in the afternoon, taking the later session 3-1 to square the contest entering Sunday's singles at Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club.

"We lost the session and we played three days of golf, and looks like we start from scratch tomorrow," said Continental Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

In the morning, Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy led the Continental Europe charge, tallying four birdies in their last five holes en route to a 2 & 1 win over GB&I's Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren.

However, Continental Europe's early stalwarts Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who romped to sizeable victories on each of the first two days, failed to maintain their momentum, as Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher rallied from 3-down to halve the match.

GB&I's lone point of the morning foursomes was earned when Chris Wood and Scott Jamieson posted a wire-to-wire, 2 & 1, victory over Francesco Molinari and Thorbjorn Olesen, but Miguel Angel Jimenez and Matteo Manassero held off a late charge from Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood to notch a 1-up win in the anchor match, doubling Continental Europe's overnight advantage by morning's end.

The afternoon, though, largely belonged to GB&I.

Lawrie and Gallacher again proved up to the task against Colsaerts and Fernandez-Castano, winning two unlikely holes on the front nine with bogeys and never trailing in a 2 & 1 victory. The GB&I duo jumped out to a 4-up lead through 11 holes, then saw their advantage decrease to a pair by the 15th before Gallacher's tap-in birdie at penultimate hole sealed the win.

Donaldson and Warren then atoned for their morning defeat, notching birdies on two of their final three holes en route to a 2 & 1 triumph over Thomas Bjorn and Mikko Ilonen, who spelled Molinari and Olesen for the afternoon session.

Continental Europe's lone afternoon win was delivered by the stout duo of Luiten and Bourdy, who maintained their momentum from the morning and outlasted Wood and Jamieson, 2-up. Wood pushed the match to the limit when he holed his bunker shot for eagle at the 17th, but Luiten and Bourdy birdied the last to briefly give their team a 9-8 edge.

In the anchor match, Casey and David Lynn trailed by two at the turn, but battled back to edge Jimenez and Manassero, 1-up, and draw GB&I even entering Sunday's singles. The match was even entering the last, where Lynn drained a 10-footer for birdie and the point.

"They kept going," said Torrance. "Paul Casey and David Lynn, they were two down most of the way around and they just kept fighting and won on 18, fantastic."

NOTES: The duo of Bourdy and Luiten were undefeated in their four matches ... Continental Europe's only win at this event came in its inaugural year (2000) ... Fernandez-Castano was a late replacement for Peter Hanson, who withdrew on Monday due to an injured back ... The format will feature 10 singles on Sunday.