Seve Trophy 2013 Standings: Tie Score Makes for Exciting Sunday Finish
Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and the other stars who chose to sit out the 2013 Seve Trophy must regret that decision now.
Heading into Sunday's singles matches, the tournament named for international golf legend Seve Ballesteros is truly up for grabs. The final-round atmosphere is representative of the prestige the golfers in attendance feel as they play for their countries.
It's all square at Saint-Nom La Bretche, where Great Britain and Ireland evened the overall score at nine by taking three of four afternoon foursomes matches against Continental Europe during Saturday's action.
The European Tour's official Twitter account had this post as some last-minute heroics from David Lynn and Paul Casey allowed the Sam Torrance-led side to gain momentum before Day 4:
Here's a complete look at the morning and afternoon foursomes scores from Paris, courtesy EuropeanTour.com.
|EUR||Nicolas Colsaerts/Gonzalo Fdez-Castano||Match Halved||Stephen Gallacher/Paul Lawrie||GBI|
|EUR||Joost Luiten/Gregory Bourdy||2&1, EUR||Jamie Donaldson/Marc Warren||GBI|
|EUR||Thorbjorn Olesen/Francesco Molinari||2&1, GBI||Chris Wood/Scott Jamieson||GBI|
|EUR||Miguel Angel Jimenez/Matteo Manassero||1-Up, EUR||Paul Casey/Tommy Fleetwood||GBI|
|EUR||Nicolas Colsaerts/Gonzalo Fdez-Castano||2&1, GBI||Stephen Gallacher/Paul Lawrie||GBI|
|EUR||Thomas Bjorn/Mikko Ilonen||2&1, GBI||Jamie Donaldson/Marc Warren||GBI|
|EUR||Joost Luiten/Gregory Bourdy||2-Up, EUR||Chris Wood/Scott Jamieson||GBI|
|EUR||Miguel Angel Jimenez/Matteo Manassero||1-Up, GBI||Paul Casey/David Lynn||GBI|
Full scores can be found at EuropeanTour.com
Continental Europe had a two-point lead before the afternoon foursomes took place, but Great Britain and Ireland pairings Paul Lawrie/Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson/Marc Warren and Lynn/Casey each recorded important victories to flip momentum around.
Ten singles matches are still on the docket.
The European Tour's Instagram account posted a picture of those showdowns after each captain had submitted his pick, and there are some intriguing names squaring off with each other.
Pending Sunday's results, a win, a loss or a tie is still possible for either team.
Much was made about the marquee absences on both sides of the tournament, with Torrance fielding aside less qualified stars McIlroy, Rose, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell. Continental Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal is without Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Jonas Blixt.
The choice of so many PGA and European Tour stars to miss the tournament has led to a fierce debate amongst media members, fans and even the golfers in attendance. Paul Lawrie called out his Great Britain and Ireland teammates for staying at home, calling their absences "disappointing."
Kevin Garside of The Independent and GolfWeek's Alistair Tait both discussed the situation at length for their various publications, adding further intrigue to a tournament with plenty of it during normal circumstances.
The 20 men selected to participate had a mission to help fans stay focused on the golfers who were in attendance, not on those who opted for the alternative.
Who wins the 2013 Seve Trophy?
They've done quite the job of it so far.
In addition to the main storyline of the 9-9 tie, there are components to follow if you're interested in digging deeper into the Seve Trophy finish.
One is Great Britain and Ireland's dominance.
Having won the last six Seve Trophy tournaments and the last three by at least three points, Continental Europe has to feel motivated to end that streak for the first time since the inaugural event in 2000.
Elsewhere, Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy are both chasing history. As noted by EuropeanTour.com, the duo can be the first two men to post the maximum individual score of five with singles wins over Tommy Fleetwood and Scott Jamieson, respectively.
ISM on Twitter was following the pair on Saturday; you can bet more than a few fans will be following their attempt to enter the Seve Trophy record books on Sunday:
Gregory Bourdy & @joostluiten continue 100 per cent winning record at Seve Trophy. Continental Europe 9 GB&I 9 heading into Sunday.— ISM (@TeamISM) October 5, 2013
And finally, redemption could be in order for at least one golfer. Francesco Molinari is winless at Saint-Nom so far, but knows he has one final chance to do so:
Seems like I cannot win a match in this bloody thing this year! Last chance tomorrow #sevetrophy— Francesco Molinari (@F_Molinari) October 5, 2013
Olazabal has confidence in Molinari's ability to do just that, sending him out as the Continental Europe anchor versus Simon Khan on Sunday. What a story it would be if Molinari picked up his first win in France this year to help his team end Great Britain and Ireland's current streak.
Buckle up, golf fans. The Seve Trophy is headed for an exciting finish.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter.
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