Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Fightback pleases Van de Velde

Jean van de Velde

Continental Europe captain Jean van de Velde praised his team as they fought back to trail Great Britain and Ireland by a single point after the second day of the Vivendi Seve Trophy at St-Nom-La-Breteche.

The Europeans turned the tables after a strong day on the course, winning three of the five fourballs pairings and halving another to slash their overnight deficit from 4-1 to 5 1/2 to 4 1/2.

Van der Velde told Sky Sports 2: "I'm very proud of what they've done and what I've seen today. They were really focused from the first hole. Yesterday was a shaky start and some of them couldn't find their rhythm. They were not there. Today they tried and they knew what they had to do to play well. I'm very happy."

The Continental Europe coach was especially pleased with the efforts of number one pairing Thomas Bjorn and Raphael Jacquelin, who fought back from three down to square the round against Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson and take a crucial half.

"It was a big half-point on the first game," Van de Velde said. "They were trailing all the way and they managed to raise their game up considerably in the last five holes so I'm pleased with that last half-point.

"I'm pleased with everything and a good result."

It seemed the Europeans were in a dominant mood after the pairings were mixed up and refreshed from the opening day.

Miguel Angel Jimenez and fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal beat Open champion Darren Clarke and partner David Horsey 3&2, rookie pairing Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero claimed a two-up win over Scott Jamieson and Ross Fisher while Peter Hanson and Alex Noren beat Ian Poulter and Robert Rock 5&3.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland captain Paul McGinley was disappointed after the change in fortunes for his team but saved special praise for world number two Lee Westwood. The GB&I pairing of Westwood and Mark Foster was the only real positive for McGinley, as they beat Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari 5&3.

McGinley said: "I think he won that match on his own. Fozzy (Foster) was great when he needed to be but Westwood made birdies and eagles when he needed to. We needed to win a point and it looked at one stage that we were going to struggle to win any. Lee Westwood was very important for us. He carried it through and carried the team today."

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