Date: September 30, 2007

Monty slips up in Ireland

Colin Montgomerie, who has lost only three of his last 22 Ryder Cup games going back 10 years, on Saturday afternoon suffered his third defeat in three matches at this week&aposs Seve Trophy in Ireland. But Nick Faldo&aposs Great Britain and Ireland, having fallen three points behind in the morning greensomes, still managed to fight back and go into the 10 concluding singles at The Heritage, west of Dublin, trailing just 9.5-8.5. From one up with nine holes to play Montgomerie, left out of the first session of the day, and Graeme Storm lost four holes in a row and went down 3&2 to Swede Robert Karlsson and Spain&aposs Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Their sudden woes were summed up on the 473-yard 13th. As the rain lashed down French Open champion Storm hit a superb approach to within five feet of the flag, but Karlsson then holed from 20 and Montgomerie dribbled his effort wide. Seve Ballesteros&apos side looked as if they might turn the tables in the top game too when unbeaten French pair Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret won the 11th and 12th to go in front against Justin Rose and Nick Dougherty. But the English duo, having just had three bogeys in succession, levelled when their opponents ran up a six on the long 14th, Rose then chipped in at the 16th and Jacquelin and Havret bogeyed the next to lose. Faldo, who sat out Scot Marc Warren from the whole day&aposs play and omitted his second highest-ranked player Paul Casey from the foursomes, then saw Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson avenge their greensomes loss to Swede Peter Hanson and Dane Soren Hansen with a 3&2 win. Phillip Archer and Bradley Dredge, with 2.5 points from their first three games together, stood three up with five to play, but then lost the 14th and 16th to Austrian Markus Brier and Spain&aposs Miguel Angel Jimenez. In a tense finish it was the previously unbeaten Brier who made the fatal error, though, hooking into the lake down the last. Fernandez-Castano had not expected to be playing at the start of the day and was looking forward to catching up on some lost sleep after a crying baby led to him changing hotel rooms at 1.45am. But he was called by captain Ballesteros at 6am to be told that Thomas Bjorn was out with a stomach upset. Bjorn did not play all day and Fernandez-Castano won both his games. Britain and Ireland took only half a point from the morning session, but although that came from Archer and Dredge, the pair wanted double that when they stood two up with two to play on Brier and Finn Mikko Ilonen. However, Ilonen holed from 30 feet on the 17th and Brier did the same on the last. Despite the poor weather there were thankfully more fans watching than on the first two days – and Ballesteros implores even more to come for the climax. “There has been some incredible golf out here,” he said. “I am telling the Irish people they are missing a great show here. Believe me!” Faldo is without Open champion Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter – he was married today – but Ballesteros lost his top four Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Fasth and Anders Hansen and had to do without Jose Maria Olazabal, Carl Pettersson and Bernhard Langer as well. That left Casey as one of the undoubted stars, but he could have no real complaints about being left out. The Surrey golfer, who defends the HSBC World Match Play title at Wentworth the week after next, pulled out of last week&aposs British Masters because he felt the need to work on his game and he received a lesson on the fairway from Faldo on Thursday morning after hitting into water three times in six holes. Dredge said: “I think Nick couldn&apost find anyone to go with the Welshman, so he put Phil with me.” Archer, third in the Ryder Cup standings after two runners-up finishes this month, added: “I am happy to play anywhere – I am playing well and if I keep it up I think I can give someone a good match whether it&aposs front, middle or back.” Results of the third day Greensomes at the Seve Trophy, The Heritage, Killenard, Ireland Great Britain and Ireland v Continental Europe (Great Britain and Ireland names first, teams level 5-5 overnight): Great Britain and Ireland 8 1/2 Continental Europe 9 1/2 Greensomes: Great Britain and Ireland 1/2 Continental Europe 3 1/2 Justin Rose and Paul Casey lost to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Robert Karlsson 3 and 1 Nick Dougherty and Graeme Storm lost to Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret 2 and 1 Oliver Wilson and Simon Dyson lost to Peter Hanson and Soren Hansen 1 hole Bradley Dredge and Phillip Archer halved with Markus Brier and Mikko Ilonen Foursomes: Great Britain and Ireland 3 Continental Europe 1 Rose and Dougherty bt Jacquelin and Havret 2 and 1 Colin Montgomerie and Storm lost to Fernandez-Castano and Karlsson 3 and 2 Dyson and Wilson bt Hanson and Hansen 3 and 2 Archer and Dredge bt Brier and Miguel Angel Jimenez 2 holes