Continental Europe came on strong in the final-day singles to mount a spirited comeback in the Vivendi Seve Trophy in Paris.
Great Britain and Ireland began the day leading 11 1/2 to 6 1/2 with 10 points left to play for in the singles action but by midday on the last day the scores were level at 11 1/2 each.
Europe skipper Jean van de Velde’s tactics were paying off as he opted to field his in-form players in the top order. Thomas Bjorn led the way as he came from three down to beat Lee Westwood 2&1.
There were also wins for Van de Velde’s side from Anders Hansen, by one hole against Simon Dyson, Francesco Molinari 4&3 against Jamie Donaldson, Alexander Noren 4&3 against Robert Rock and Miguel Angel Jimenez 4&2 against his old friend Darren Clarke.
Westwood began strongly but Bjorn managed to stay in touch and when the world number two found himself in the trees on the 11th they were back level and the Dane seized his chance, holing a 30-foot putt on the 14th to edge in front and holding on to take a spirited win.
“It was just a case of hanging on and hanging on, but a couple of mistakes and it let me back in,” said Bjorn. “I played some nice stuff near the end but it was a hard-fought battle.”
Englishman Dyson had impressed over the first three days but Hansen proved ice cool to seal an important win. Meanwhile Rock failed to record a single birdie to let Noren take it to 11 1/2 – 10 1/2.
Clarke was unable to halt his side’s slide as Jimenez took Continental Europe level after starting strongly with two birdies and holding on for victory as Clarke hit water on the 16th and offered his hand to his opponent.
There was some good news for Paul McGinley, though, with David Horsey one up after 16 against Nicolas Colsaerts and Scott Jamieson two up after 16 against Pablo Larrazabal.
Ian Poulter trailed Matteo Manassero by one after 14 but Mark Foster was all square against Raphael Jacquelin and Ross Fisher was two up after 13 against Peter Hanson.