Blogs & Opinion


Seve Trophy: Great contest even without the big names, says Rob Lee

Features - Rob Lee Posted 8th October 2013 view comments

It was obviously disappointing that many of the big names stayed away from the Seve Trophy, but those who did turn up did a great job.

I thought the 20 players involved were a credit to the European Tour and it was a very, very close competition. The Europeans started the week as 1/2 favourites, but by the end of Saturday night Sam Torrance's men had made it 9-9 which meant it could have gone either way in the singles.

The Portugal Masters: Rob Lee tips Nicolas Colsaerts for the win.

The Portugal Masters: Rob Lee tips Nicolas Colsaerts for the win.

I suppose, thankfully for the Europeans, they just got it over the line and it went down to the last match. And it was a long time coming with GB&I winning the last six. It really couldn't have been better as a contest.

The big names that didn't show are all doing extremely well in the game of golf, but the position of the Seve Trophy this time - opposite the Presidents Cup with breaks either side - meant that it wasn't jammed in between two other tournaments - there's been plenty of time off between; it couldn't have been better in terms of the calendar.

The Europeans they just got it over the line and it went down to the last match. It really couldn't have been better as a contest.

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week

I don't think it reflects particularly well on those players who didn't show, especially after Medinah when they were all wearing the badges of Seve on their arm and saw what it meant to Jose Maria Olazabal when he looked up to the sky.

But they're entitled to do what they want to do, I thought it was disappointing they didn't come, but it's a free world.

The Presidents Cup

Contrastingly everyone turned up at the Presidents Cup, everyone who qualified played and all the picks turned up to play - the very opposite of the Seve Trophy, but I don't think the scrap was as good.

I thought the tournament in Paris was a better contest because once again the Americans won the Presidents Cup. Yes, the internationals rallied a bit in the singles, but I think there was only ever going to be one winner.

The point of the Seve Trophy, the reason he put it forward, was that it was a chance for 20 guys to bond instead of 12 guys. You've got the continent of Europe versus Great Britain and Ireland, but they're all Europeans so they're all bonding; Captain McGinley got to see a whole lot of players play in what was a hard-fought contest and those that were there were desperate to play.

I'm sure he got a lot of very helpful information back and that's the purpose of the Seve Trophy.

On the other hand, I just feel they are trying to make the Presidents Cup into the Ryder Cup, but it's never going to have the intensity; it's over four days whereas the Ryder Cup is over three days. I just don't think they're ever going to get it where they want it to be.

This week's action

They used to have the Tour Championship, then the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup and then you would get the Fry's.com, The McGladery Classic and the Disney - they would all be part of the fall series of the the PGA season; that's all changed and the Fry's.com is now the first event of next year's season.

I think this will mean tournaments like the McGladery and Fry's.com will get a few more top players playing than normal, because the four or five tournaments of the fall season were seen as not quite as high profile as the ones before the FedExCup. They still have the same date, but the importance has changed because there's the chance to get off to a fast start to next year's tour.

On the Euro Tour this week it's the Portuguese Masters. I like this event, there's only two tournaments left for players that want to keep their card for next season - Portugal and Perth - and Australia is a long way to go to make a few quid.

So with Portugal being in Western Europe it's going to be popular with players a) trying to get in to the top 60 and make it in to the Dubai World Championship or, b) players trying to stay within the 110 and remain valid for next year.

There are a lot of players playing here from the Seve Trophy and I'm going to give a shout out to Nicolas Colsaerts.

I spoke to him on the putting green at the Open D'Italia and he said 'I'm desperate to make the Seve Trophy side' - he nearly won there, finishing fourth.

Then at the Seve Trophy he said to me 'I'm desperate to play in the HSBC Champions event' - which you have to have had a win to get in to - so this is his last chance.

ROB'S SKY BET TIPS

I'm going to back Colsaerts at 20/1 to win the Portugal Masters and qualify for the HSBC Champions event. He's been playing well, he beat Paul Casey in a hard-fought singles on the Sunday of the Seve Trophy and he was part of the overall winning side. I think he goes to Portugal with a lot of confidence

You can watch live coverage of the Frys.com Open and the Portugal Masters from Thursday across Sky Sports.

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