Bjorn out for Europe

Seve Ballesteros had to make a late change to his line-up for the third session of the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin today.

Seve Ballesteros had to make a late change to his line-up for the third session of the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin today.

Dane Thomas Bjorn, one of the two wild cards picked by the Continental Europe captain, was suffering from an upset stomach.

He was due out in the top greensomes game with Swede Robert Karlsson against Britain and Ireland’s Justin Rose and Paul Casey as the contest resumed at 5-5, but was replaced by Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

The Madrid golfer was Ballesteros’s other pick for the match, but had lost twice with compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez and the two of them were both expecting to sit out the morning.

Greensomes is where the two teammates both drive on a hole and then have to choose which ball to play on with.

Rose and Casey, the home side’s highest ranked players, had won together at fourballs yesterday and in further rain they set off with a winning birdie three.

But Karlsson and his new partner Fernandez-Castano made four down the long second to tie things up.

This is the third Seve Trophy running that Bjorn has had a problem. At El Saler in Valencia in 2003 he withdrew just before the singles because of an injury, then at The Wynyard near Middlesbrough two years ago he began suffering from a virus and was hammered six and five in the singles by David Howell.

The virus became so bad that he had two spells in hospital – one near his home and the other in San Francisco after he had flown there for the world championship – and needed a lengthy recovery period.

His latest upset followed the incident involving Scot Marc Warren on Thursday night.

Warren was practising his swing in his hotel room when he shattered the chandelier above his head. The glass cut his head, arms and stomach and he needed to be taken away for stitches.

Last season’s Rookie of the Year and his partner Colin Montgomerie, like Jimenez and Fernandez-Castano with two defeats to their names so far, were the duo omitted by Britain and Ireland captain Nick Faldo.

Not surprisingly, the poor weather this morning meant another pitifully poor attendance. With Open champion Padraig Harrington pulling out because of fatigue no Irishmen were in Faldo’s team, which may have made golfing sense but commercially had badly hit the event.

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