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Lawrie left baffled by Seve Trophy absentees

By Phil Casey

Paul Lawrie can understand some of Europe's star names missing this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but admits he is baffled by their absence from next week's Seve Trophy.

The teams for the Seve Trophy were confirmed on Wednesday, with Great Britain and Ireland's top six qualifiers, as expected, all turning down the chance to play in the biennial event against Europe.

Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter will not travel to Versailles as Sam Torrance's side attempt to claim a seventh win in succession against a Europe team captained by Jose Maria Olazabal.

Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, who appointed Torrance and Olazabal, insisted he was "not too disheartened" by the loss of such players and is looking forward to seeing how some potential members of his team for Gleneagles next year will perform.

But Lawrie, who is the only player from the 'Miracle at Medinah' on the GB&I team, expressed his disappointment at the absence of many of the players who wore the late Ballesteros' colours and silhouette on their uniforms in Chicago.

"If they all played, I wouldn't have got a game, which I think would have been okay with me, because you want the strongest team, you want two teams going at each other at full strength," Lawrie said.

"As it is these guys are not playing and I'm getting a game, which I'm delighted about. I'd walk to Paris to play on that team next week, I would have done whatever it would have taken."

Meanwhile, Ireland suffered a major blow to their hopes of regaining the Men's Seniors Home International title at Royal County Down when they slumped to an agonising 5.5-3.5 defeat by Scotland.

They must now beat reigning champions England today and hope Wales can do them a favour by either defeating Scotland or grabbing a share of the spoils.

They shared the foursomes one match apiece with one halved and, for much of the afternoon, the tie hung in the balance. The closeness of the tie was demonstrated by the fact that three of the six singles went to the last green, with two of them being halved.

When Cork's Tom Cleary went down on the final hole to John Fraser following a nip-and-tuck battle, Ireland knew their fate.

England trounced Wales 6.5-2.5 and the Welsh look set for the wooden spoon once again.

Belfast Telegraph


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