Great Britain & Ireland captain Paul McGinley hailed the performance of his Vivendi Seve Trophy rookies after seeing his team fend off a spirited fightback by Continental Europe in Paris yesterday.
A flying start to the final day at St-Nom-La-Breteche saw the European team skippered by Jean van de Velde close from an overnight deficit of 11 1/2 to 6 1/2 to pull level at 11 1/2 each on the back of five straight wins.
But Great Britain & Ireland had enough in the tank in the later matches to pull away to an overall 15 1/2 to 12 1/2 victory – their sixth in succession.
McGinley was delighted that his cocktail of experienced hands and rookies had come good when the pressure was on – and in particular reserved special praise for Vivendi Trophy newcomer Scott Jamieson, whose one up victory against Pablo Larrazabal swung the momentum back in GB&I’s favour, after David Horsey had earlier finished all square against Nicolas Colsaerts to halt Europe’s winning run.
“Lucky I had the team well balanced out, and had not just experience but guys in form balanced throughout the team, so they came through in the end,” McGinley told Sky Sports.
“Scott Jamieson’s match was huge, that kind of turned the tide in our favour. I actually focused mostly on Scott’s game, I walked every shot with him from the 14th. I knew how pivotal that match was going to be and he was brilliant.
“I wanted Scott to keep playing pretty conservatively coming in there because it was difficult conditions, and he did exactly as I said.
“I’m so proud of the way he’s come through this week, and he’s just one guy. David Horsey as well, a huge half point there.”
After Horsey and Jamieson had settled GB&I’s jitters, Ian Poulter sank a crucial birdie on the 18th to seal a one up victory over Matteo Manassero, and the trophy was assured when Mark Foster sneaked home by the same scoreline against Raphael Jacquelin to take GB&I past the winning 14 1/2 point threshold.
The final pairing of the day, Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson, ended all square. I get a huge sense of satisfaction seeing someone like Scott or David Horsey coming though the way they did,” McGinley continued.
“Mark Foster as well, it was pivotal that his game stayed one up, that it stayed in the red or it stayed in the green and it never got into the blue, and he did that. And of course Ross Fisher was a rock at the end.”