GB&I triumph despite predictions

Nick Faldo’s Britain and Ireland team, stung into action by television pundits predicting doom and gloom, ran away with the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin.

Nick Faldo’s Britain and Ireland team, stung into action by television pundits predicting doom and gloom, ran away with the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin.

One point ahead entering the 10 concluding singles, Continental Europe took only one of them, halved just two and were sent crashing to a 16.5 to 11.5 defeat – their fourth in a row.

And one lesson Faldo will certainly have learnt in advance of leading Europe in the Ryder Cup next September is that for inspiration nothing works better than people outside the camp saying they are going to lose.

Paul Casey, left out on Saturday afternoon so he could work on his game, said he was watching as fellow European Tour player Jamie Spence and golf coach Simon Holmes, discussing the match on Sky TV, went for wins for Seve Ballesteros’ side in the top three singles.

That meant Colin Montgomerie losing to Robert Karlsson, Casey going down to Raphael Jacquelin and Marc Warren being beaten by Gregory Havret.

Instead, though, all three stormed to victories and set the pattern for a landslide.

“That was nice bit of motivation right there,” said Casey after his three and two win. “I was already motivated, but that added the final edge.”

The Surrey golfer made a point of telling Montgomerie about it on the driving range before the session and Europe’s eight-time number one, never beaten in singles in eight Ryder Cup appearances, added: “That geed us up a bit.

“You forget that Paul’s the reigning World Match Play champion (he defends that at Wentworth the week after next) and my record in match play is not all bad.”

Montgomerie had, however, lost his first three games in the contest, but he took three of the first five holes before Karlsson fought back to level.

The Swede then bogeyed the 12th and they halved the last six, Montgomerie saving himself with putts of 25 and 12 feet at the 14th and 16th.

Warren also defeated Havret on the final green and by then Graeme Storm had trampled over Thomas Bjorn – out of action all day Saturday because of a stomach upset – six and five. It was the same margin by which the Dane had lost to David Howell two years ago when he was ill then as well.

Nick Dougherty came from two down to halve with Soren Hansen and Simon Dyson did even better. Two down after five, he turned that into a two and one success over Mikko Ilonen.

It left Britain and Ireland needing only another half and, although Bradley Dredge was certain of that when he went two up with two to play on Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, unbeaten debutant Phillip Archer had the distinction of putting the winning point on the scoreboard.

Completing a memorable month in which he has also twice finished runner-up, he won after Austrian Markus Brier went in the water on the 18th for the second day running against him.

Dredge, Archer’s partner to three wins and a half the first three days, added a two-hole victory to make his tally 4.5 points out of five as well.

Oliver Wilson was the one player to lose, but beaten only on the last by Swede Peter Hanson.

Justin Rose, left until last by Faldo even though he was his top-ranked player, got the better of Miguel Angel Jimenez two and one.

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