Friday, 19 March 2010
After slumping 4-1 down on the opening day of The Seve Trophy, Colin Montgomerie's Great Britain and Ireland made a complete recovery at The Wynyard Club on Saturday to take a one point lead into Sunday's singles against Continental Europe.

Two points adrift still after day two, GB&I won the morning greensomes 3-1 and the afternoon foursomes 2 ½ - 1 ½ to hold a 9 ½ - 8 ½ advantage. Montgomerie again played a captain's role but praised his "young guns", referring to playing-partner Nick Dougherty in particular, for edging his side ahead against José Maria Olazábal's team.

A vital late 30 foot putt by Dougherty proved the difference between the match lying all-square and GB&I being in front.

"To get back from 4-1 down to lead is great," said Montgomerie. "That's a lot of credit to young guns, including Nick."

As well as there only being a single point in it, several matches went to the wire and Olazábal said: "The boys played their best and three matches went to the 18th this afternoon to show how close it is.

"We have our backs to the wall a little bit so we'll have to do our best in the singles."

GB&I might have been further ahead but for a missed four foot birdie putt by Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell on the final hole in the greensomes, earning Miguel Angel Jiménez and Emanuele Canonica an unexpected half point. McDowell and partner Stephen Dodd were never behind.

While Montgomerie dropped himself from the morning's play, Olazábal did the same in the afternoon and looked on delightedly as his French pairing Jean-Francois Remesy and Thomas Levet again put the hex on Irishmen Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington in the opening match.

Remesy had holed a nine footer and Harrington missed a six-footer to seal a win for the Frenchmen on opening day and this time Remesy chipped in on the last while Harrington again missed from around eight feet to leave their match halved.

Englishmen David Howell and Paul Casey took charge before the turn and then hit back after a fightback from Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain and Italy's Emanuele Canonica to take their match 2 and 1.

The feistiest match came between Britons Ian Poulter and Bradley Dredge and Swedes Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson. Englishman Poulter, who on Thursday night felt the wrath of Montgomerie for practising instead of following the team, proved to be as spiky as his renowned haircut, showing dissent clearly at having to putt out what he felt were concession putts.

Poulter later insisted he had not been upset, however, saying: "It was just good old matchplay."

Olazábal said of Poulter's dissent: "It's up to the players. If they don't want to concede putts they don't have to."

Britain and Ireland's lead hinged around Dougherty's 30ft birdie putt on the 17th which earned him and Montgomerie a vital point after a half on the last with Dane Thomas Bjorn and Dutchman Maarten Lafeber.

With Björn defeated, Stenson is now the only undefeated player in the match.

Sunday's final day features ten singles matches, with Montgomerie and Olazábal, who is standing in for the unfit Seve Ballesteros playing against each other in the first match.

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