Seve Trophy: Europe beat GB & Ireland 15-13 to win trophy for second time
Europe won the Seve Trophy for only the second time as they sealed a thrilling 15-13 win over Great Britain & Ireland.
Last Updated: 06/10/13 10:49pm
The two sides were locked together at 9-9 heading into the singles rubber and, with things remaining tight throughout the day at Saint-Nom-La-Breteche Golf Club in Paris, it was eventually left to Francesco Molinari to secure the all-important point in the anchor match against Chris Wood.
Just as he did for Europe at the Ryder Cup last year, the Italian held his nerve to seal victory, with his 3&2 win over Wood ensuring that Jose Maria Olazabal's Europe side won the trophy for the first time in seven attempts.
The day had started in dramatic fashion with GB & Ireland's Simon Khan forced to pull out of the singles with a back injury. Instead of making a draw to see which European player would not play, Danish veteran Thomas Bjorn volunteered to stand down to allow his younger team-mates the chance to compete.
That point was shared and the first full point of the day was secured by Tommy Fleetwood, who produced an excellent display to claim the scalp of in-form Dutchman Joost Luiten with a 3&2 triumph.
In the top match, Jamie Donaldson had led Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano for the majority of the contest, but the Spaniard hit back late on to claim an important half and, soon afterwards, big-hitting Nicolas Colsaerts got the better of Paul Casey with a one-up success.
France's home hero Gregory Bourdy then made history as he thrashed Scott Jamieson 4&3 becoming, in the process, the first player ever to take five points from five in the Seve Trophy.
Europe hit back straightaway as Scotland's Marc Warren beat Thorbjorn Olesen by the same margin but, even at that stage, Europe looked to be in charge as they took control of the remaining matches.
Italian youngster Matteo Manassero produced a superb long-range birdie putt across the 16th green to secure a 3&2 win over Stephen Gallacher.
When Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez followed that with a thumping 6&4 success over a 'flu-ridden David Lynn, Europe were just a half point from victory.
Paul Lawrie forced them to wait as he beat Mikko Ilonen 2&1 to make the overall scoreline 14-13 and then it was all down to Molinari.
Although Wood made a couple of clutch putts to keep the match alive at 14 and then 15, he was powerless to prevent Molinari from sealing the deal at 15 when, fittingly, he stroked home for a match-winning birdie.
Afterwards, Olazabal reserved special praise for Bourdy and his magnificent display on home soil, telling Sky Sports: "In front of his own people, the way he played - especially being a rookie - he did extraordinarily well. It's a team event, everybody contributed and Greg did it in a big way."