GB&I back in charge in France

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Spearheaded by Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson in Saturday’s greensomes, GB & I are back in charge at the Vivendi Trophy.

Spearheaded by Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson, Great Britain & Ireland have regained the initiative at the Vivendi Seve Trophy with a 3½-½ Saturday morning greensomes win.

Having led 4-1 after the opening day’s fourballs at St-Nom-La-Bretèche in France, Paul McGinley’s side had looked on course for a comfortable sixth consecutive cruise to victory.

But Jean Van De Velde’s Continental Europe side hit back brilliantly on Friday to close the gap to one.

And now McGinleys men have come hammering back on Saturday morning with a resounding win in the greensomes to move into a 9-5 lead.

Dyson and Donaldson, acting as GB & I’s lead pair for the third time this week, took their impressive record to two wins and a draw with a 2 & 1 victory over the rookie European pairing of Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero.

Dyson missed a five foot birdie chance at the second, but there was no let off after that as the duel reached the turn all square.

GB & I were the first to score after the turn when they with birdied the 14th and 15th – and this time there was to be no comeback for Colsaerts and Manassero..

Swedes Alex Noren and Peter Hanson picked up Continental Europe’s only half of the morning when Ryder Cup star Hanson holed a 20 footer on the final green to cancel out the Darren Clarke-David Horsey eagle at the 17th.

Horsey’s approach to two feet at the penultimate hole looked to have decided the match, but Hanson had other ideas.

Horsey had holed 20 foot birdie putts on the first two greens, although Hanson cancelled out the first with a five foot conversion following a brilliant approach by Noren.

Hanson and Noren, the impressive 5 and 3 winners over Ian Poulter and Robert Rock in Friday’s fourballs, found themselves two down when, like Continental Europe’s opening pair, they bogeyed the fourth.

But they birdied the eighth and ninth to turn all square, only to lose the next two holes in a topsy-turvy contest.

A birdie at the 12th and an eagle at the 15th pulled them level again before some late drama saw them deny Great Britain & Ireland a clean sweep.

In the third match out Poulter, joined by Ryder Cup and World Cup partner Ross Fisher, won 2 and 1 against Thomas Björn and Raphaël Jacquelin.

A birdie at the second put the English duo ahead, before Björn and Jacquelin won the fifth and sixth to go one up, only for a perfect Poulter pitch to a foot at the next to level matters.

The 14th and 15th again proved the decisive holes, the English pair going birdie-eagle to win both and claim the point.

In the last match out World Number Two Lee Westwood was again in top form as he partnered Scott Jamieson to a 4 & 3 victory over Pablo Larrazabal and Miguel Angel Jiménez.

Both Spaniards drove into trees at the fourth, although on opposite sides of the fairway – and Jamieson took full advantage of Westwood’s tee shot down the middle with an approach to within a foot.

Jiménez missed a six foot par putt at the fifth to put the Great Britain & Ireland pair one up, and that lead was doubled at the next when the Spaniards ran up a third consecutive bogey and Westwood calmly converted a four foot par putt.

Jamieson’s eight foot birdie putt put Great Britain & Ireland three up after seven, and the pair won an incredible six holes in a row when they took the eighth and ninth holes with birdies.

The Spaniards briefly threatened a fightback, but another birdie at the 15th closed out the contest..

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