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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
GB and Ireland struggle in Trophy
Colin Montgomerie
Great Britain and Ireland suffered a poor start to their defence of the fourth Seve Trophy on Thursday.

Continental Europe, with Jose Maria Olazabal now at the helm, lead 4-1 after the opening fourballs.

Captain Colin Montgomerie and debutant Graeme McDowell provided the British team's only highlight, beating Maarten Lafeber and Emanuele Canonica 4&2.

But Britain's other pairings all lost, and they now face a hard task to defend the title they won 15-13 two years ago.

Ian Poulter and Nick Dougherty lost on the last to Thomas Bjorn and Henrik Stenson, while Welsh pair Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge suffered a 4&2 defeat to Olazabal and his compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez.

That left Britain and Ireland relying on the two partnerships which tasted success in the Ryder Cup last year but there was no repeat.

I think I'm the first captain who's gone 4-1 down and not switched a thing
GB & Ireland captain Colin Montgomerie
David Howell and Paul Casey were two up after three on Swedes Niclas Fasth and Peter Hanson before losing 3&2.

Then Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley saw a two-hole lead of their own turn into a final green defeat to Frenchmen Thomas Levet and Jean-Francois Remesy.

"We are in a hole - we have a long way to come back from here," said McGinley, who last Sunday lost to New Zealander Michael Campbell in the final of the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth.

But Montgomerie remained upbeat and is determined to stick to his plan.

"I want to make a game of this and we have to play better, as simple as that," he said afterwards.

"They were listening and they are fired up now. I think I'm the first captain who's gone 4-1 down and not switched a thing. I felt very confident in my pairings before the start and I feel the same way."

Olazabal also refused to rule out the British team just yet, despite being delighted with the opening day's play.

"Obviously it was a great day for us - wonderful," said the Spanish captain.

"The last match made a big difference. If it had gone the other way it would have been 3-2.

"But we all know our opponents are not a piece of cake. I am sure Monty is going too give them a nice talking to and this not over."

The match continues with five more fourballs on the second day, followed by four greensomes and four foursomes on Saturday and 10 singles on Sunday.



SEE ALSO
Seve Trophy pro-am photos
21 Sep 05 |  Photo Galleries
GB & Ireland retain title
09 Nov 03 |  Golf
GB and Ireland claim title
21 Apr 02 |  Golf


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