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B&I edge fourballs on day 2 to trim Europe’s lead

October 4, 2013

SAINT-NOM-LA-BRETECHE, France (AP) — Britain and Ireland trimmed Continental Europe’s lead to one point in the Seve Trophy after edging Friday’s second day of fourballs.

Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano equaled the biggest winning margin in the tournament’s history with a 6 and 5 win over B&I’s Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher.

But Paul Kasey and Simon Khan beat Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjorn Olesen 3-2, Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren won 4 and 2 against veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez while David Lynn and Scott Jamieson overcame Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero by just one hole.

“There is just a fraction of disappointment. We let a point go with the Italians, they had the match under control until the very end,” Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal said. “Overall (losing) 3-2 is not that bad. These guys play great golf, and you have to be on your toes. When you play at this kind of level, it’s decided on little things, and today was a good proof of that.”

Gregory Bourdy and Joost Luiten continued their good form from Thursday to beat Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood by the same margin.

Europe leads 5 ½-4 ½ at the 6,983-yard, par-72 Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club outside of Paris.

A six-foot birdie from Jamieson secured their win on the final hole after the Italians had been one up with two holes to play.

“The golf that was played was beautiful,” B&I captain Sam Torrance said.

But B&I could even have finished the day all square with Europe as Fleetwood and Wood fought back strongly from 3 down after 14 holes.

Wood’s eagle on the 17th ensured it went to the final hole, where both he and Fleetwood had putts to halve the match, but missed.

Lawrie expressed his disappointment last week that eight of his Ryder Cup teammates snubbed the tournament.

Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter aren’t playing despite being B&I’s six leading qualifiers. Sergio Garcia and Peter Hansen declined places in the Europe team.

The Seve Trophy, which is played in non-Ryder Cup years, is named after the late Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011.