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Sunday, September 26, 1999 Published at 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK


Love ends Frenchman's Ryder adventure

Jean Van de Velde: Inauspicious Ryder Cup debut

Davis Love (US) bt Jean Van de Velde (Eur) 6&5 to reduce Europe's lead to 7-10

Jean Van de Velde became the first casualty of a disastrous start to the singles for the Europeans at Brookline, losing six and five to Davis Love III.

The Frenchman had sat out the first two days of the competition and any hopes that he would make amends for his historic choke at the Open in Carnoustie by pulling off an unlikely win in the Ryder Cup were soon dashed.

Van de Velde's first shot was far from special as he missed the fairway at the opening hole - and his second also found the rough as he slumped to a bogey to fall one-down.

But the Frenchman appeared unfazed by his early errors - and holed a putt from off the green at the third for a birdie to bring the match back to all-square.

Love regained the initiative as he holed from the greenside bunker at the fifth to go ahead, then landed the ball just four feet from the pin on the sixth to set himself up for a good chance of going two ahead.

Van de Velde had other ideas and sunk a superb 60ft birdie putt on the sixth to stay in touch by halving.

But the match quickly ran away from him, with the putter letting him down on the seventh as he went right of the cup, handing Love a two-hole lead.

Van de Velde set himself up with a chance of halving the 10th with another excellent long range putt, but Love made no mistake and extended his lead to three with a birdie three.

History repeated itself on the 11th as the American sunk another birdie three to go four up and make the European cause at the head of the pack appear all the more desperate.

Love could clearly smell blood and seemed impatient to get the match settled, winning the 12th easily as the Frenchman's game began to lag.

By the 13th, Van de Velde's Ryder Cup experience was over as Love two-putted to win the hole and pull a point back for the Americans.



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