GB&I take on Continental Europe this week for the Seve Trophy at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche outside Paris. The visitors are defending champions and are looking to make it seven wins in a row.
Jose Maria Olazabal will captain the side from Continental Europe while Sam Torrance heads team GB&I. Both have experience in leading successful Ryder Cup sides and this looks set to be a tight and exciting battle.
Each team was selected from the leading five available players on the Official World Golf Ranking and the leading five on the Race to Dubai. Although a number of star players have, controversially, chosen to skip the tournament, the sides look evenly matched.
Veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez will provide the backbone of the Continental Europe team. The Spaniard has played in every Seve Trophy since the tournament’s inception and Bjorn has missed just one. Their experience will be complemented by the youth of talented players like Matteo Manassero, Joost Luiten and Thorbjorn Olesen.
On team GB&I, Paul Lawrie and Paul Casey have plenty of team competition experience behind them. The Scot was a member of last year’s victorious Ryder Cup side and Casey has played in that great biennial event three times.
There’ll also be a number of debutants on the GB&I side. Stephen Gallacher, Tommy Fleetwood, Simon Khan and David Lynn will all play in the Seve Trophy for the first time.
The format for this year’s match has altered slightly. Saturday will witness two sessions of four foursomes matches, rather than a morning greensomes then afternoon foursomes. Day’s one and two will feature five fourball matches, then Sunday will see 10 singles contests. To win outright, 14.5 points are required.
The first time this match was played, back in 2000 at Sunningdale, Continental Europe were the narrow victors. But, since then GB&I have dominated, winning six straight contests, most recently in 2011.
Last time out GB&I edged a thrilling contest. Continental Europe trailed by 11.5 to 6.5 going into the final day singles, but Jean Van De Velde’s men won the first five singles matches to even things up. GB&I eventually came through, however, with wins by Ian Poulter, Scott Jamieson and Mark Foster.
Venue: Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, Paris, France
Date: Oct 3-6
Course stats: par 71, 6,983 yards
Defending Champions: GB&I (15.5-12.5)
Thursday 3 – Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Friday 4 – Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Saturday 5 – Sky Sports 2 from 7.30am
Sunday 6 – Sky Sports 2 from 10am
Captain – Sam Torrance
Previous Seve Trophy Appearances
Paul Casey (Eng) 2002, 03, 05, 07
Jamie Donaldson (Wal) 2011
Stephen Gallacher (Sco) Debut
Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) Debut
Scott Jamieson (Sco) 2011
Simon Khan (Eng) Debut
Paul Lawrie (Sco) 2000, 02, 03
David Lynn (Eng) Debut
Marc Warren (Sco) 2007
Chris Wood (Eng) 2009
Captain – Jose Maria Olazabal
Thomas Bjorn (Den) 2000, 02, 03, 05, 07, 11
Gregory Bourdy (Fra) Debut
Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 2011
Gonzalo Fdz-Castano (Esp) 2007, 09, 11
Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 2007
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 2000, 02, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11
Joost Luiten (Ned) Debut
Matteo Manassero (Ita) 2011
Francesco Molinari (Ita) 2009, 11
Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) Debut
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