Gregory Bourdy (Getty Images)
There was nothing to choose between Continental Europe and Great Britain & Ireland during the early stages of the final singles session at the Seve Trophy by Golf+.
Starting the day locked at 9-9, both teams had half a point added to their score when Simon Khan had to withdraw with a back injury – Thomas Björn the Continental European player chosen at random to sit out, leaving Chris Wood to face Francesco Molinari in the anchor game.
In the top game Jamie Donaldson turned one up on Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño – the Spaniard halving the deficit at the ninth with a birdie two despite his opponent chipping in for par.
The second game was going Europe’s way, with Nicolas Colsaerts chipping in for eagle at the seventh to go two up on Paul Casey.
Tommy Fleetwood, Marc Warren and Stephen Gallacher all led by a single hole in the early stages of their contests for Sam Torrance’s side, but Gregory Bourdy took advantage of Scott Jamieson’s chip at the fifth rolling back to his feet to take a one up lead.
Casey halved the gap to one in his match when Colsaerts ran his bunker shot 20 feet past at the ninth and missed the return putt.
Fleetwood took a third hole on the spin at the seventh to go two up against in-form Joost Luiten – looking to become the first player to win five points in the event.
The other European with a chance to make history, Luiten’s partner all week Bourdy, was looking more likely to do so courtesy of a glorious iron approach to the sixth.
And with Matteo Manassero squaring against Gallacher and Miguel Angel Jiménez winning the first against David Lynn both sides were up in three games.
Jiménez – the only player to appear in all eight stagings of this event – began with a hat-trick of birdies, and although a flu-ridden Lynn matched him from 20 feet at the second, the Englishman found himself two down.
Luiten clawed his way from three down to only one behind, but Fleetwood drained from 40 feet at the 13th to go two ahead.
Bourdy was in complete control of his match at four up through ten and Manassero raced to three up at the turn, the same margin as Jiménez had when he almost holed his approach to the sixth, as Europe began to take control.