Tuesday 20 March 2018

McGinley keen to find cause of worrying singles trend

Bernie McGuire

While Paul McGinley will take enormous pride in retaining the Vivendi Seve Trophy, he and Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will sit down to try and put a handle on why the Great Britain & Ireland team lost out in the singles at Saint Nom-la-Breteche.

Olazabal is heading to Medinah later this week worried at the trend in recent Ryder Cup matches which has seen Europe losing the singles when in a winning position going into the final day.

It transpired again in France, with McGinley's team losing the first five matches and winning just three before eventually emerging victorious 15.5 to 12.5.

Among those to be beaten were World No 2 Lee Westwood and British Open champion Darren Clarke. Westwood lost the first match 2&1 to Thomas Bjorn.

Clarke was never in front in his singles encounter against Miguel Angel Jimenez, and after both had birdied the 15th, he conceded to the Spaniard when he found a water hazard with his tee shot at the par-three 16th.


It tied the encounter on 11 points each and when Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts eagled 17, and then halved the last against David Horsey, it was 12 points apiece.

It was left to Scottish rookie Scott Jamieson, with McGinley by his side for the last few holes, to turn the tide, and he duly defeated Pablo Larrazabal by one hole. From there on GB&I were never headed, winning another two matches and halving two to eventually win comfortably by three points.

And McGinley's men won despite the absence of at least six top players, including the Irish trio of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington along with England's Paul Casey, Luke Donald, and Justin Rose.

However, there was no champagne shower, with McGinley more concerned next year's Ryder Cup clash. "I've now been involved three times off the course with a team that has lost the singles, so that's definitely cause for analysis," he said.

•JUSTIN Rose overcame an early final-round blip to claim the BMW Championship in Illinois.

Rose began the day four shots ahead of John Senden after carding a two-under 69 in the third round but bogeyed the par-three second.

However, the Englishman regained his composure, sinking consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh holes.

A bogey at the ninth saw Rose turn level, 13-under overall, but a birdie on the 17th put him back in the driving seat after he had bogeyed the par-five 15th.

Senden finished second, two shots back on 11-under, with fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy a further shot back in third. Luke Donald was fourth on eight-under.

Irish Independent

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