Monday 19 March 2018

McGinley's notebook bears fruit as GB & I put one hand on Seve Trophy

Paul McGinley. Photo: Getty Images
Paul McGinley. Photo: Getty Images

Bernie McGuire, in Saint Nom-la-Breteche

In between encouraging his GB & I side to a commanding 4-1 lead on the opening day of the Vivendi Seve Trophy, Paul McGinley was busily scribbling in a small red notebook.

The Dubliner laughed off suggestions he was simply doodling -- declaring that the €2 'Tiger' brand notebook was his handbook to delivering GB & I a fifth straight success out of a possible six.

"I bought the notebook especially as it had the name 'Tiger' on the cover, but, seriously, I'm not in that Seve mode of captain in terms of talking to players a lot on the golf course, so I use the notebook to prepare and work out my pairings," he said.

What McGinley observed was a very lop-sided first day's play, with his so-called underdog side thumping Jean van de Velde's Continental Europeans.

Ross Fisher teamed up with Scott Jamieson to set the tone in handing a 6&4 defeat to Peter Hanson and Raphael Jacquelin.


Ian Poulter and Robert Rock accounted for Thomas Bjorn and Alex Noren 5&3, while Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson beat Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal 2&1.

Darren Clarke and David Horsey held on to beat Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero 1-up, with Manassero showing his immaturity in hurling his ball into a water hazard after his putt to square the match pulled up short.

The only disappointment was Lee Westwood and Mark Foster, who lost by a hole to Francesco Molinari and Anders Hansen.

After such a storming start, McGinley is so confident he's kept the same five pairings for today's fourballs.

However, McGinley was also reminded that the only other time a side led 4-1 -- the Europeans in 2005 -- they lost by five points.

"I am hugely and pleasantly surprised that we have come out against a strong European team and won 4-1," said McGinley. "But I've reiterated, it's a great start and no more."

However, Van de Velde was licking his wounds and hoping he doesn't endure a second straight fourball hiding.

"I got my backside kicked pretty hard," he said. "There were five games played at 38-under par. They played 9-under, 6-under, 8-under, 7-under and 8-under. They delivered.

"Tomorrow is another day and I just hope it is not Groundhog Day."

•Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell is joint leader after 54 holes of the first stage of the European Tour Q- School at Dundonald.

Vivendi Seve Trophy,

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Irish Independent

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