Continental Europe ended a run of six consecutive defeats to claim the 2013 Seve Trophy at the Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche course on Sunday, earning a 15-13 victory over their British and Irish rivals.
Captained by Spanish great Jose Maria Olazabal, the Continental European team led by the likes of Matteo Manassero and Miguel Angel Jimenez secured victory during the final day's singles action with a 6-4 victory across the 10 ties.
It was the final day that ultimately split the two sides, having started play on Sunday level at nine points apiece. With golfers of varied backgrounds in the two sides, several lesser names were able to come to the fore over the course of the competition.
Frenchman Gregory Bourdy may have been the lowest ranked of the European side heading into the tournament, but he leaves with his reputation bolstered after claiming a maximum haul of five points on home soil.
Bourdy continued his excellent form of recent weeks, having won the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor in September, to become the first player in the tournament's history to earn a maximum score.
Speaking on Sunday, per the European Tour, Bourdy said of his achievement:
I'm so happy to achieve that, and it was an amazing week for me.
I did my job and I’m proud to get five points for this amazing captain, Chema Olazábal; he's a great champion.
I'm happy to get five points for him and for the team. It was great to play here in front of my French crowd and in Saint Nom la Bretèche, it's a great course, and I love to play in team events. I love, also, match play, so I enjoyed this week a lot, especially my doubles with Joost, and then today again a great round.
Bourdy's partner for his four successes in foursomes and fourball action, Luiten also came into the competition off the back of a European tour win—having beaten Jimenez in a playoff to win the KLM Dutch Open just a fortnight ago.
“Joost played extraordinarily well," was the verdict of captain Olazabal after the opening day's action, with the Telegraph among those discussing his Ryder Cup claims this weekend. "[He] made a bunch of birdies and didn't give his opponents much of a chance."
Ryder Cup as it stands MT @IrishGolfDesk Europe (auto) Howell, Luiten, Bourdy, Bjorn; Stenson, Quesne, Garcia, Huizing, Donald. & 3 picks— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) September 30, 2013
It was on the opening day that Luiten really came to the fore, with his run of birdies crucial to his pairing's success over Jamie Donaldson and David Lynn. Bourdy will take the headlines for his record achievement, but Luiten's contribution was instrumental to the Frenchman's success.
"I spoke to Paul McGinley and he’s looking forward to seeing me play this week in a team environment," Marc Warren told the Scottish Daily Record pre-tournament. Ryder Cup captain McGinley will have been impressed with what he saw from the Scot over the three days.
Warren finished tied for 12th at the recent PGA Championship, as well as making the cut at the U.S. Open in what has been a good 2013 season. With three points at the Seve Trophy, including a convincing final day singles win, he did his Ryder Cup chances no harm at all.
Making his second appearance at the competition, having been on the winning side in 2007, Warren may have been unsuccessful on this occasion, but demonstrated his impressive recent development over the three days.
Will Colsaerts make Europe's Ryder Cup side in 2014?
The 2012 World Matchplay Champion, Colsaerts also claimed three points for his side to reinforce his claims for a place in Europe's Ryder Cup selection next year.
Colsaerts led the European charge on the tournament's opening day with two victories alongside Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, allowing Olazabal's side to finish the day three shots ahead.
His victory over experienced Brit Paul Casey in the second singles pairing also handed Europe a good start to the final day and once more demonstrated his excellent matchplay pedigree against a potential rival for a Ryder Cup place.