Graeme McDowell and Anthony Wall both kicked off the Vivendi Trophy with birdie putts for Britain and Ireland in Paris today.
Trying to avoid a fifth successive defeat, Continental Europe – the favourites with Paul McGinley’s side lacking six of their biggest stars – fell behind in the top two fourballs.
First McDowell, partnering fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, found the target from nearly 25 feet against Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and Dane Soren Kjeldsen.
Then Wall made a nine-footer to put himself and Chris Wood, both debutants in the match, one up on Swedes Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson.
It was the first event since the end of May for last season’s European number one Karlsson, who has been battling with a blister behind his left retina.
After missing the curtain-raising pro-am with food poisoning, England’s Simon Dyson was well enough to take his place alongside Oliver Wilson in the third game against Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson.
Latest positions in the opening fourballs of the Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, Continental Europe v Great Britain and Ireland, at St-Nom la Breteche, Paris, France, today (Continental Europe names first, all times Irish Time):
Soren Kjeldsen and Alvaro Quiros 1 down to Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy (after 2 holes)
Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson 1 down to Anthony Wall and Chris Wood (1 hole)
1105 Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson v Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson
1120 Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari v Robert Rock and Steve Webster
1135 Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano v Ross Fisher and Nick Dougherty