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Continental Europe maintain slender lead at Hero Cup

Continental Europe maintain slender lead at Hero Cup

Continental Europe still lead the Hero Cup by a single point after they and Great Britain & Ireland each took 2.5 points from Saturday morning's foursomes session.

Molinari Nicolai

GB&I got off to a lightning-quick start on day two, turning the scoreboard grey early on after taking the lead in each of the top three matches.

But Continental Europe fought back admirably and looked likely to extend their lead in the tournament at the midway stage of a roller-coaster session, only for a late flourish from GB&I to deny them.

Francesco Molinari's side lead 5.5-4.5 going into the afternoon foursomes session, where he will again partner Nicolai Højgaard.

Continental Europe pair Thomas Pieters and Alex Noren struck a huge blow in the top match as they twice came from behind to secure half a point.

Having trailed by four on the front nine as opponents Ewen Ferguson and Richard Mansell flew out the blocks, the Continental Europe pair tied the match at the 13th after winning four holes without reply.

And although they lost the 17th to trail by one with just the last hole to play, Belgian Pieters and Swede Noren won the 18th to tie the match.

Noren said: "It was a very tough start and sometimes you've got to dig very, very deep. I think we played good from probably the sixth, seventh on - pretty good. 

"We played good in the end. I'm happy about that."

Captain Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton then claimed GB&I's first point of the day with victory against Sepp Straka and Thomas Detry in Match Two, before Molinari and Højgaard got a point for Continental Europe.

They overturned a three-hole deficit in emphatic fashion to beat Matt Wallace and Callum Shinkwin 3&1.

Fleetwood said: "We played really well. It was a solid match and there was never really that much in it. We played a very chilled round of golf, and that was pleasing. And the points are what matter, so it's always good to get that point."

Victor Perez and Guido Migliozzi closed out a superb 3&2 win over Irishmen Shane Lowry and Séamus Power in the anchor match before Jordan Smith and Robert MacIntyre handed GB&I a late boost with a comeback win over Antoine Rozner and Adrian Meronk.

Migliozzi said: "We played incredibly well today, solid front, back nine, we were very solid. We managed very well the game, and it's easy when you have a great partner."

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