Seve Trophy 2011: GB&I survive Continental Europe fightback
Great Britain and Ireland held off a strong challenge to beat Continental Europe 15.5-12.5 on the final day of the Seve Trophy in France.
Continental Europe recovered from an overnight deficit of 11.5-6.5 to level the tie at 11.5 points each.
But GB&I, led by Paul McGinley, did enough in the final matches to wrap up a sixth consecutive win in the trophy.
Victory came when Mark Foster sealed a one up win over Raphael Jacquelin to reach the decisive 14.5-point mark.
Earlier, David Horsey finished all square against Nicolas Colsaerts to halt Continental Europe's run of five straight wins at the start of the day.
GB&I's fightback was slowed further when Scott Jamieson finished one up against Pablo Larrazabal to swing the momentum back in McGinley's team's favour.
Ian Poulter sank a crucial birdie on the 18th to seal a one up victory over Matteo Manassero, before Foster secured the trophy.
EUROPE 12½ - 15½ GB&I
- Thomas Bjorn (Den) beat Lee Westwood 2&1
- Anders Hansen (Den) beat Simon Dyson 1 hole
- Francesco Molinari (Ita) beat Jamie Donaldson 4&3
- Alexander Noren (Swe) beat Robert Rock 4&3
- Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) beat Darren Clarke 4&2
- Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) halved with David Horsey
- Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) lost to Scott Jamieson 1 hole
- Matteo Manassero (Ita) lost to Ian Poulter 1 hole
- Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) lost to Mark Foster 1 hole
- Peter Hanson (Swe) halved with Ross Fisher
The final pairing of the day, Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson, ended all square.
"It feels amazing and I'm pleased for the boys," said Foster.
"I was playing really well and then lost the pace of the green for four or five holes and let Raphael back in, and I knew I was in for a game then so I had to refocus.
"It would have hurt a lot if we hadn't won today and I'm glad to pull through."
Before Britain and Ireland regrouped, Europe captain Jean van de Velde's tactics were paying off handsomely after opting to field his in-form players in the top order.
Thomas Bjorn led the way as he came from three down to beat Lee Westwood 2&1.
There were also wins for Anders Hansen, by one hole against Simon Dyson, Francesco Molinari, 4&3 against Jamie Donaldson, Alexander Noren, 4&3 against Robert Rock and Miguel Angel Jimenez, 4&2 against his old friend Darren Clarke.
Then Britain and Ireland reasserted themselves before going past the winning 14½-point threshold. McGinley said: "Lucky I had the team well balanced out, and had not just experience but guys in form balanced throughout the team, so they came through in the end.
"Scott Jamieson's match was huge. That kind of turned the tide in our favour. I actually focused mostly on Scott's game. I walked every shot with him from the 14th. I knew how pivotal that match was going to be and he was brilliant.
"I get a huge sense of satisfaction seeing someone like Scott or David Horsey coming though the way they did. Mark Foster as well. And of course Ross Fisher was a rock at the end."