GB&I survives scare to win Seve Trophy
Paris, France – Great Britain & Ireland won its sixth consecutive Seve Trophy on Sunday, but the Continental Europe team made it a little tougher than expected.
GB&I won by a final tally of 15 1/2 - 12 1/2, but it was much tighter than the final score indicated.
Down five points at the start of Sunday's 10 singles matches, Continental Europe swept the first five matches to tie the proceedings. The final five matches were all close, but GB&I pulled out three 1-up wins and two halves.
Continental Europe led off with three-time 2011 winner Thomas Bjorn and he did his job with a 2 & 1 victory over world No. 2 Lee Westwood.
"It was just a case of hanging on and hanging on, but a couple of mistakes let me back in," said Bjorn. "I played some nice stuff near the end but it was a hard-fought battle."
Anders Hansen pulled out a 1-up win over last week's KLM Open champion Simon Dyson, then Francesco Molinari and Alexander Noren both posted 4 & 3 decisions over Jamie Donaldson and Robert Rock, respectively.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, a close friend of tournament namesake, the late Seve Ballesteros, dispatched the reigning Open champion Darren Clarke, 4 & 2, to tie the competition.
David Horsey appeared to get GB&I a full point, but Nicolas Colsaerts won 15 and 17 to earn a valuable halve.
The next two matches won GB&I the Seve Trophy.
Scott Jamieson was as much as 4-up for GB&I, but Pablo Larrazabal won three out of four holes. Jamieson took the 15th with a birdie to go 2-up with three to play, but Larrazabal won 17 to go 1-down with one to play.
The last was halved to give Jamieson and GB&I a full point.
Ian Poulter provided a huge comeback to aid the GB&I effort. He was 1-down after seven, then he and Italian teenager Matteo Manassero halved the next eight holes.
Poulter won the 16th and 18th holes with birdie to pull out a massive full point.
After Poulter's win, Mark Foster was 1-up with one to play against Continental Europe's Raphael Jacquelin. That guaranteed GB&I a halve and it gave its side a guaranteed 14 1/2 points, which was enough for the hard-earned victory.
Foster and Jacquelin halved the last to give Foster GB&I's third consecutive 1-up win.
Peter Hanson of Continental Europe won 16 and 17 to grab a halve against Ross Fisher in the anchor match.