Great Britain and Ireland vs. Europe: Analysing Seve Trophy Matchups for Day 1
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 Ireland||Continental Europe|
|11:35||Paul Lawrie & Stephen Gallacher||Thomas Bjorn & Miguel Angel Jiminez|
|11:50||Tommy Fleetwood & Chris Wood||Thorbjorn Olesen & Mikko Ilonen|
|12:05||Paul Casey & Simon Khan||Francesco Molinari & Matteo Manassero|
|12:20||Jamie Donaldson & David Lynn||Joost Luiten & Gregory Bourdy|
|12:35||Marc Warren & Scott Jamieson||Nicolas Colsaerts & Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano|
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.
Who will win the Seve Trophy?
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 and Manassero are obvious potential breakthrough names, but also the four Scots will be desperate to make Gleneagles. #EuropeanTour— Kieran Clark (@OnParWithGolf) October 2, 2013
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.
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