Wood and Wall set record on debut.
Debutants Chris Wood and Anthony Wall were the stars as GB & Ireland took a 3-2 lead after day one of the Vivendi Trophy in Paris.
Chris Wood and Anthony Wall marked their debuts for Great Britain and Ireland in record-equalling fashion in Paris on Thursday.
Their 6&5 thrashing of the highly-rated Swedish Ryder Cup pair of Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson matched the biggest margin of victory in any session of the Vivendi Trophy since it started in 2000 and helped Paul McGinley’s side to a 3-2 lead over Continental Europe after the opening round of fourballs.
In Karlsson’s defence, of course, is the fact that this was his first competitive action since May because of a blister behind his left retina.
But Continental captain Thomas Bjorn must have been hoping for more from his top-ranked player Stenson against a duo who may not have been in the match but for the withdrawal of some star men.
Graeme McDowell would not have played either, yet he teamed up with fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy to beat Dane Soren Kjeldsen and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros 4&3 in the top game.
Britain and Ireland’s other point came from Oliver Wilson and Simon Dyson.
With Dyson fit again after suffering food poisoning in the build-up, they defeated Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson 3&2 – an exact repeat of the result when the two pairs clashed in foursomes in Ireland two years ago.
However, after the visitors led 4-1 and were threatening to run away with the first round, Continental Europe hit back with their last two pairs to reduce the gap to a respectable one point thanks to Dane Anders Hansen and Italian Francesco Molinari and then Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Hansen, who had a superb seven birdies over the first 12 holes, and Molinari convincingly beat Robert Rock and Steve Webster 4&3.
Fernandez-Castano and Jimenez – the only player to be an ever-present since the series started in 2000 – came from two down to beat Ross Fisher and Nick Dougherty 2&1.
Bjorn’s men were made pre-tournament favourites given that they had lost only Sergio Garcia and the injured Martin Kaymer from their strongest possible line-up.
Britain and Ireland, on the other hand, were without six players in all – Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Justin Rose – but do have the better record, having won the last four Trophy Events, previously known as the Seve Trophy.
FIRST ROUND FOURBALLS RESULTS
(Continental Europe names first, all times BST):
Continental Europe 2, Great Britain and Ireland 3
Soren Kjeldsen and Alvaro Quiros lost to Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy 4 & 3
Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson lost to Anthony Wall and Chris Wood 6 & 5
Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson lost to Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson 3 & 2
Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari bt Robert Rock and Steve Webster 4 & 3
Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano bt Ross Fisher and Nick Dougherty 2 & 1
DRAW FOR DAY TWO
(Continental Europe names first, Britain and Ireland lead 3-2 overnight, all times BST):
1035 Henrik Stenson and Alvaro Quiros v Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson
1050 Peter Hanson and Soren Hansen v Nick Dougherty and Ross Fisher
1105 Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari v Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy
1120 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Robert Karlsson v Robert Rock and Steve Webster
1135 Miguel Angel Jimenez and Soren Kjeldsen v Anthony Wall and Chris Wood
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