• Vivendi Seve Trophy

Westwood excels but GB & Ireland lose ground

ESPN staff
September 16, 2011
Matteo Manassero bounced back to form with a win © Getty Images

Continental Europe launched a fightback on day two of the Vivendi Trophy, clawing the deficit back to one point ahead of the weekend's action in Paris.

Great Britain and Ireland (GB & I) claimed a 4-1 advantage after the opening day's play, but the momentum shifted violently away from them on Friday, and the score now stands at 5 ½-4 ½.

Lee Westwood and Mark Foster claimed the only full point for GB & I by defeating Francesco Molinari and Anders Hansen 4 and 3, with Westwood hitting the shot of the day - crouching to meet the ball under low-lying tree branches, he punched a sublime approach shot to within six feet.

"It's nice when the more established players play well, it takes the pressure off the rookies," said Westwood. "That's why you pair them together."

But that was as good as it got for Paul McGinley's men as they let their grip on the tie loosen. In the top game, Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson surrendered a half to Thomas Björn and Raphaël Jacquelin, who fought back from three down to level.

The fresh pairing of Alex Noren and Peter Hanson never looked back after racing into a four-up lead through five holes against Ian Poulter and Robert Rock, eventually recording a 5 and 3 triumph. "We both played well today," said Noren. "Peter holed so many putts and he made a lot of birdies and he didn't have to putt sometimes. And then I made a couple of birdies and he just kept on going. In the end, I think both of us played well."

Ross Fisher and Scott Jamieson were huge winners on Thursday, but found themselves shot down by rookies Matteo Manassero and Nicolas Colsaerts, who won two-up. "I felt better today," Manassero said. "It was good to have that experience because it helps you when you go one course another time. That's really important and we knew much better what to do today."

In the final game, Spanish duo Pablo Larrazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez combined to sink Darren Clarke and Daivd Horsey 3 and 2.

Saturday's action comprises four morning greensomes matches and four afternoon fourballs.

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