Stage set for thrilling final day showdown as Britain and Ireland fight back in Seve Trophy

By Mike Dawes

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David Lynn held his nerve to complete Great Britain and Ireland's comeback as they drew level with Continental Europe at 9-9 at the end of day three of the Seve Trophy at St Nom La Breteche.

Lynn holed a 10-foot putt on the 18th hole in his foursomes match with Paul Casey against Miguel Angel Jimenez and Matteo Manassero to ensure they claimed the point which ensured the sides would not be separated heading into the final day's singles.

It completed a fine turnaround for Great Britain and Ireland, who trailed 8-6 following the morning foursomes.

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Put it there: Paul Casey (left) celebrates with David Lynn as the pair claimed a point for Great Britain and Ireland

Put it there: Paul Casey (left) celebrates with David Lynn as the pair claimed a point for Great Britain and Ireland

'It's been so close all week; it could have gone either way,' said Casey on www.europeantour.com.

'For Lynnie to make that putt on the last and to be level going into singles is massive. I think we are looking forward to tomorrow - it's tough playing foursomes.'

Stephen Gallacher and Paul Lawrie took a point and a half off previously unbeaten pair Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano on Saturday.

After halving the morning contest, the Scottish duo opened up a three-shot lead after five holes despite bogeying the second and fifth.

Compatriots: Scottish duo Paul Lawrie (left) and Stephen Gallacher claimed a point and a half on day three

Compatriots: Scottish duo Paul Lawrie (left) and Stephen Gallacher claimed a point and a half on day three

That increased to a four-shot lead after the 11th hole and although Colsaerts and Fernandez-Castano won at the 13th and 15th, the comeback proved too little, too late.

A 2&1 win in the opening afternoon encounter gave Britain the ideal start.

Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren atoned for their morning loss to Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy with a 2&1 victory over Thomas Bjorn and Mikko Ilonen.

Donaldson and Warren trailed by one hole entering the back nine but immediately levelled before winning at the 15th and 16th holes to seal the win.

Enthralled: European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal looks on with members of his team

Enthralled: European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal looks on with members of his team

Luiten and Bourdy took their perfect record to four points from four in the competition as they saw off the challenge of Scott Jamieson and Chris Wood on the final hole and give Continental Europe the lead once more.

And they had reason to be confident in the final match as Casey and Tommy Fleetwood were defeated on Saturday morning by Jimenez and Manassero.

The English pair had threatened to halve the match when Casey drained a 12-footer on the 17th to ensure they went up the last.

But Fleetwood's tee shot was wayward, the 22-year-old taking one hand off the club after his follow through, and when Manassero drove down the middle another point for Continental Europe was all but assured.

Eyeing it up: Paul Casey lines up a putt at the St Nom La Breteche course near Paris

Eyeing it up: Paul Casey lines up a putt at the St Nom La Breteche course near Paris

Fleetwood dropped out for Lynn to partner Casey after lunch, although the result looked to be the same when Jimenez and Manassero took a two-hole advantage at the turn.

But Casey and Lynn turned the tide and it was all square heading into the last.

Jimenez put the pressure on Lynn by holing from 12 feet, although the 39-year-old Englishman was equal to the challenge to hole his putt and ensure Great Britian and Ireland took the session 3-1.

Smacker: Miguel Angel Jimenez kisses his captain Jose Maria Olazabal

Smacker: Miguel Angel Jimenez kisses his captain Jose Maria Olazabal

Continental Europe Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said on www.europeantour.com: 'We lost the session and we played three days of golf, and looks like we start from scratch tomorrow.

'What I have kept on saying all week long, is that we have to play the best we can. We have a very strong team facing us, and that we have to play good tomorrow.

'Obviously I want to win it badly, it's as simple as that. I don't like that record at all and hopefully this group of 10 people will be able to achieve that tomorrow.'

 

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