Gregory Havret received a hug from captain Seve Ballesteros and the cheers of the few fans there to see it after producing a hole in one on the third day of the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin today.
A tiny crowd was in attendance yet again as Nick Faldo’s Britain and Ireland side, devoid of any Irishmen, resumed at 5-5 against Continental Europe.
Ballesteros was forced into a late change after being called in the early hours by Thomas Bjorn who is suffering from a stomach upset.
Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano partnered Swede Robert Karlsson in the top greensomes instead and they turned one up on Paul Casey and Justin Rose.
Behind them Havret was partnering fellow Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and they were looking for
their third successive win, this time against Nick Dougherty and Graeme Storm.
The English pair took the fourth with Storm’s 15-foot birdie putt, but they lost the fifth to a birdie and then the 189-yard seventh to Havret’s ace, his four-iron shot landing short and right of the cup and then curling in.
Storm and Dougherty’s response was pretty impressive though. While Jacquelin went into the stream with his approach to the long eighth, Dougherty found the green and his partner sank a 25-foot eagle putt.
The bottom two games in the session – greensomes is where both players drive and then select one ball – were both level.
Oliver Wilson and Simon Dyson struck first with a birdie on the long second against Swede Peter Hanson and Dane Soren Hansen, but lost the short fourth to a birdie.
Two unbeaten pairs were facing each other at the tail. Austrian Markus Brier and Finn Mikko Ilonen won the second, lost the next two to birdies from Welshman Bradley Dredge and England’s Phillip Archer, but then squared things up with another birdie on the seventh.
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 a world championship - and needed a lengthy recovery period.
Bjorn was not expected to appear in the afternoon foursomes either. Ballesteros revealed that he was not planning to pick him for the session in any case and did not anticipate making a change to that even if the 36-year-old felt well enough to play.
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.
But it was his form rather than his body that kept him out of the morning’s play. Warren and Colin Montgomerie had lost their first two games and were both omitted.