Great Britain and Ireland vs. Europe: Analysing Seve Trophy Matchups for Day 1

Ben Snowball@@BenSnowballContributor IOctober 3, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 01:  Nicolas Colsaerts of the European team plays a shot during the pro - am prior to the start of Le Seve Trophy at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche on October 1, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The Seve Trophy gets underway in Paris, on Thursday, with both captains calling upon their senior players to carry their side through the opening fourball.

With many players choosing to miss the event, the field does have a slightly depleted look, but all that means is youngsters get the chance to step up and shine.

Here we pick out the key matchups on Day 1.


Day One Fourballs

Tee Time (BST)Great Britain and Northern IrelandContinental Europe
11:35Paul Lawrie & Stephen GallacherThomas Bjorn & Miguel Angel Jiminez
11:50Tommy Fleetwood & Chris WoodThorbjorn Olesen & Mikko Ilonen
12:05Paul Casey & Simon KhanFrancesco Molinari & Matteo Manassero
12:20Jamie Donaldson & David LynnJoost Luiten & Gregory Bourdy
12:35Marc Warren & Scott JamiesonNicolas Colsaerts & Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano


Highlighted Matchups

Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher vs. Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez

Both captains have decided experience is the way to ensure a perfect start with only Gallacher, 38, not in his 40s.

Jimenez has enjoyed moderate success this season even if he’s found tournament wins hard to come by. He finished fourth at the Bridgestone Invitational and narrowly fell to defeat against Seve Trophy teammate Joost Luiten at the Dutch Open.

Given they have 13 tournament appearances, out of a possible 14, between them, you can expect Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn to start steadily, whilst Paul Lawrie sets about managing comparative rookie Gallacher through the opening holes.

Great Britain and Ireland have claimed the opening fourball in each of the last two tournaments before going onto win. This matchup could prove equally decisive.


Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood vs. Thorbjorn Olesen and Mikko Ilonen

There’s no point winning the opening point if you meekly surrender the next.

Of all the pairings, this has the most unknown feel about it with no major names jumping off the pairings sheet. Fleetwood and Wood have just two European Tour titles between them with Olesen and Ilonen hardly dwarfing that haul.

It's a bold selection from Britain and Irish captain Sam Torrance, given Fleetwood and Wood have a combined age that falls short of Jimenez's 49 years. This youthful setup usually means brilliance to begin with before a wobble when the pressure kicks in.


Jamie Donaldson and David Lynn vs. Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy

Whilst this matchup lacks so-called big names, hardly surprising given the amount of withdrawals, all four have enjoyed solid seasons.

Lynn succumbed to a playoff defeat on the U.S. PGA Tour in the Wells Fargo Championship, with teammate Donaldson managing to win at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Luiten will be looking to carry his impressive form from the European Tour into the Seve Trophy, having won twice already, and if Bourdy can harness his partners shot-making ability, they will rightly be considered favourites. 

With so little between the teams, it will inevitably come down to who thrives on the occasion and makes birdie putts.