Nick Faldo’s Britain and Ireland team lost the opening fourballs 3-2 to Continental Europe in the Seve Trophy at The Heritage, west of Dublin today.
In front of a dismally small crowd – no Irish players are involved in the match - the Continentals led by Seve Ballesteros looked set for an even bigger lead until England’s Graeme Storm sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the final green of the final match.
That gave Storm and Nick Dougherty victory over Danes Soren Hansen and Thomas Bjorn.
The only other home winners were Welshman Bradley Dredge and England’s Phillip Archer. They beat Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano two and one.
By then, however, Ballesteros’s side were already 2-0 up.
Scots Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren lost to Swedes Robert Karlsson and Peter Hanson, who were out in 29 and a dazzling 11 under par for the 17 holes, and an out-of-form Paul Casey and Simon Dyson went down four and three to French pair Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret.
Justin Rose and Oliver Wilson then became losers as well, beaten three and two by Austrian Markus Brier and Finn Mikko Ilonen.
The match continues with five more fourballs tomorrow, then greensomes and foursomes on Saturday and 10 singles on Sunday. Like the Ryder Cup, 28 points are at stake.