Category: Archive

Seve stars, but Ireland-Britain shine

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

DUBLIN — It might have been the poor man’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, but there was still a distinct competitive edge to the contest as Britain and Ireland took on the Continent of Europe in last weekend’s matches for the Seve Trophy at Druids Glen in County Wicklow. And if the British and Irish side emerged victorious by 14.5 to 11.5, it was the European captain and the event’s architect, Seve Ballesteros, who stole the show.

Initially, Ballesteros had turned back the clock by teaming up with compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal to defeat Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley in the Saturday four-ball, and then he saw off rival captain Colin Montgomerie in the top Sunday singles.

Despite his by now customary wayward driving, Ballesteros clinched the victory over the Irish pair by holing a bunker shot on the 17th. In difficult conditions, the Spaniards managed to run off six birdies in the final eight holes, which meant that Ballesteros was the only player with maximum points from his games.

Harrington, McGinley and Darren Clarke all won their singles matches over Olazabal, Mathias Gronberg and Thomas Bjorn, respectively, as Britain and Ireland registered a first victory in the series.

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, Sam Torrance, who was a spectator at Druids Glen, confirmed that Harrington and McGinley would be likely partners during the matches against the U.S. at the Belfry in September.

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Both Harrington and Clarke had been scheduled to play in this week’s Irish PGA championship at Westport, Co. Mayo, but both are now doubtful because of injury. Harrington has an ankle problem that flared up during the Masters at Augusta, while Clarke is troubled by a sore knee.

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