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Saturday, 26 September 2009
The Vivendi Trophy with Severiano Ballesteros - Round Three  (Getty Images)
The Vivendi Trophy with Severiano Ballesteros - Round Three (Getty Images)

For singles draw clickhere

Paul McGinley, on the winning side every time he has played in The Ryder Cup or The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, looks set to continue that record as a captain after his Great Britain & Ireland team charged into a 12 1/2 to 5 1/2 lead over Continental Europe.

Only the ten singles are to come and the holders need just two points for a fifth successive win.

Leading 6-4 overnight, Great Britain & Ireland dominated the day even though Anthony Wall, a winner of his first two games, could not play all day because of shoulder trouble and Simon Dyson needed an afternoon rest after the food poisoning that kept him in bed on Wednesday left him feeling weak again.

Twenty year old Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led off both greensomes and foursomes and won both to take their personal tallies to three points out of four.

First they beat Swedes Henrik Stenson and Peter Hanson 2 and 1, then it was Dane Søren Hansen and Søren Kjeldsen by the same margin.

"We really fed off each other, it was a great day's work and we couldn't be happier," said McIlroy.

"We've got a great captain. He's been fantastic and has never left us in the dark. He's got a lot of good ideas about team golf and has put some of that into practice, so I think a lot of the credit has to go to him."

World Number Five Stenson is the top-ranked player on either side and he looked like suffering a fourth successive defeat until he and Hanson won the last three holes to halve with Nick Dougherty and Steve Webster.

A 25 footer from Stenson on the last was badly needed, but then 21 year old Chris Wood had already made it four wins out of four in the game behind.

After twice being successful with Wall he linked up with Ross Fisher and they recorded a double over Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari - the first helped by a huge stroke of luck, though.

One up on the last, Wood went in the pond on the right and Fisher was heading for more water out of bounds behind the green.

But his ball stopped by a railing, they were able to go to the drop zone and got down in two more.

Dyson and Oliver Wilson lost their 100 per cent record just before lunch when they bogeyed the last to lose to Alvaro Quiros and Miguel Angel Jiménez.

The Spanish pair were kept together for the foursomes, but Continental Europe were left needing something special when they lost on the last to Wilson and Robert Rock, who had been drafted in to replace the ailing Dyson.

Even though they won the singles 8-2 two years ago in Ireland, McGinley told his team: "They are a wounded animal and very dangerous. We are very well aware that all of them are capable of shooting low numbers and a ripple effect can kick in. I don't want that to happen." 

He rated Wall 50-50, but was far more hopeful that Dyson would be fit to play. One withdrawal results in a halved match, but two means the loss of a point. 

McIlroy gets the match he wanted all week in the top singles. He is Great Britain & Ireland's highest-ranked player and Stenson is the Continent's. 

A desperately disappointed Bjorn said: "There's a lot of hurt pride. Miracles do happen, but this would be massive and I've told them to go and play for their pride and show that they're better than this." 

 

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