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GB and Ireland in strong position

Great Britain and Ireland moved into a strong position against Continental Europe after winning the greensomes session 3 1/2 to 1/2 and the foursomes 21/2 to 1/2 at the Vivendi Seve Trophy.

Jean van de Velde's Europeans turned the tables on Friday after a strong second day at St-Nom-La-Breteche, 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.

But GB&I got back on course for a sixth consecutive title by establishing a 9-5 lead ahead of the afternoon's foursomes, before wins for the pairings of Simon Dyson and Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood and David Horsey gave Paul McGinley's team a lead of 11 1/2 to 6 1/2 going into the final day.

Dyson and Jamie Donaldson got things off to a fine start for GB&I with a 2&1 triumph over Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero in the greensomes.

The British pair established their superiority early on with birdies on three and four and, although the rookie European pair got back level through birdies on seven and nine thanks to cool putting from Colsaerts, Dyson and Donaldson forged ahead again with birdies on 14 and 15.

Darren Clarke and David Horsey looked set to make it two wins out of two for GB&I when they birdied the 17th thanks to Horsey's approach to two feet, but Swedish duo Alex Noren and Peter Hanson had other ideas and birdied 18 to secure the Europeans' only half point of the morning.

Any hopes Van de Velde's troops had of making further inroads were shattered in the third and fourth matches, though.

A birdie on 14 and eagle on 15 saw Poulter and Ross Fisher clinch a topsy-turvy encounter 2&1 against Thomas Bjorn and Raphael Jacquelin, and then in the last match out Westwood and Scott Jamieson strolled to a 4&3 victory over Pablo Larrazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

World number two Westwood and Scot Jamieson won six holes in a row from the fourth to get themselves five up through nine and, although the Spanish pair threatened a comeback on the back nine, further birdies on 12 and 15 sealed an emphatic win for the GB&I duo.


From Belfast Telegraph