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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 17:48 UK

Withdrawals hit Vivendi defence

Paul Casey
The injured Casey is among the big names absent this week

Britain and Ireland will be missing a number of top stars this week when they face Continental Europe in the Vivendi Trophy - the renamed Seve Trophy.

Captain Paul McGinley's team are now regarded as underdogs with Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Paul Casey all missing.

Luke Donald and Justin Rose are also out, while Simon Dyson is hoping to fight off a bout of food poisoning.

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn is without Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.

The match begins on Thursday in Paris with Britain and Ireland having beaten the European team four times in a row.

The chances of McGinley's squad being successful have been greatly reduced with his four highest-ranked players missing. Casey and Kamyer are both injured, while the other players are unavailable.

I will wait until the end of the week to decide if I'm able to attend

Seve Ballesteros

Yorkshire's 31-year-old Dyson missed Wednesday's curtain-raising pro-am and spent most of the day in bed and if he fails to recover, partner Oliver Wilson will compete against either Soren Hansen or Peter Hanson in a singles.

Despite eight such high-profile names not showing up for a variety of reasons, 18 of the 20 players on show are in the world's top 100.

The exceptions are Steve Webster and Robert Rock, two of the eight English players taking part.

Unlike the Ryder Cup, the competition at St Nom la Breteche is over four days rather than three.

Fourballs are played on Thursday and Friday, followed by greensomes (when partners both drive on each hole, but then choose one ball) and foursomes on Saturday and then singles on Sunday.


European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will be in attendance looking at candidates for his side at Celtic Manor next year, and for 20-year-old Rory McIlroy and 21-year-old Chris Wood it will be a first taste of international team golf as professionals.

McIlroy's rise to world number 24 makes him Britain and Ireland's top player on paper, while Wood's performances in the last two Open Championships - fifth as an amateur then third as a pro - have thrust him into the limelight.

Montgomerie said: "You can't do anything about players who are injured (Kaymer and Casey) and scheduling is also difficult.

"What I would rather focus on is who is there because there is an awful lot of talent in both teams.

"Also, due to players not being there, it gives an opportunity to others who otherwise might not have been involved. It is a very important four days."

Spanish golfing legend Seve Ballesteros, who set up the tournament, says he has yet to decide whether he will be able to attend or not, as he continues his recovery from his latest round of treatment for a brain tumour.

"I am feeling very tired at the moment as I have just finished my radiotherapy treatments, which I have been receiving over the past month," he said.

"I will wait until the end of the week to decide if I'm able to attend."

Draw for Thursday's opening fourballs (Continental Europe names first, all times BST):

1035 - Soren Kjeldsen and Alvaro Quiros v Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy

1050 - Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson v Anthony Wall and Chris Wood

1105 - Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson v Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson

1120 - Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari v Robert Rock and Steve Webster

1135 - Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano v Ross Fisher and Nick Dougherty

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see also
McGinley & Bjorn lead Seve teams
14 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros makes '90% recovery'
06 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros attends football game
03 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros talks of cancer fight
31 Mar 09 |  Europe
Ballesteros wants captaincy role
07 Jan 09 |  Golf
GB and Ireland retain Seve Trophy
30 Sep 07 |  Golf

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