GBI Continue to Roll in Spain

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VALENCIA, Spain -- Lee Westwood and partner David Howell powered to a 5-and-3 victory over Thomas Bjorn and Sergio Garcia on Friday to lead the Great Britain & Ireland team to a 6 1/2 - 3 1/2 lead over Continental Europe after two days of the Seve Trophy.
 
Brian Davis and Paul Casey knocked off Continental Europe's Ignacio Garrido and Miguel Angel Jimenez for the second straight day, this time by the score of 2-up. Justin Rose and Ian Poulter got into the win column with a 3-and-1 conquest over Jose Maria Olazabal and Continental European captain Seve Ballesteros.
 
The Continental European team picked up a pair of wins on Friday. Raphael Jacquelin and Alex Cejka downed GB&I captain Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie. Fredrik Jacobson and Niclas Fasth overcame a strong back nine by Padraig Harrington to defeat he and partner Phillip Price, 1-up.
 
'Overall I am very satisfied with the way things are going,' said Montgomerie. 'My own personal results do not matter so much, just as they don't in the Ryder Cup. This is a team competition and the team winning is the main objective.
 
'I have a good set of lads here with me this week and I now have a problem because they are all buzzing and I will have to leave a couple out for tomorrow morning's greensomes matches and tomorrow afternoon's fourballs.'
 
Ballesteros knows his squad has not played their best, but still has three sets of matches to overcome their deficit.
 
'The day did not quite go as I had expected or hoped for but there are eight points to play for tomorrow,' said Ballesteros. 'These are important because I really think we need to get at least a couple of points back overall. I don't want to go into the singles on Sunday three points behind because I think that might be a little too much.'
 
Westwood birdied the first to grab a fast 1-up lead, but Garcia responded with a birdie on the par-5 third to square the match. Westwood, who also halved the second hole with a birdie, drained an eagle on No. 5 to regain a 1-up lead.
 
Howell then took over. He halved Garcia with a par on the sixth, then birdied the following two holes to give the English duo a 3-up lead. Westwood came back with birdies on the ninth and 11th to extend their lead to 5-up.
 
Garcia attempted to rally his duo from a 5-down disadvantage as he birdied the 14th. That was all he could do though, as Westwood sank his fifth birdie of the day on No. 15 to close out the 5-and-3 victory for the Englishmen. Bjorn has won just one hole over his first two matches.
 
'We have fitted well as a team, David has stepped in when I am not in the hole and vice versa, and as a result we are always going to be hard to beat playing like that,' said Westwood. 'We did the right things at the right time and that is what match play is all about.'
 
Montgomerie and Lawrie, who earned a 1/2 point on Thursday, grabbed a quick 2- up lead as Lawrie birdied the second before Monty birdie No. 3. Cejka closed the gap to 1-down with a birdie on the sixth.
 
The two teams each parred five consecutive holes around the turn. Jacquelin notched his first win of the day by birdieing the par-3 12th. Cejka then birdied each of the next two holes to give his duo a 2-up lead.
 
Two down with two holes to go, Monty and Lawrie both dropped their tee shots within 10 feet of the cup at the par-3 17th at Campo de Golf Parador El Saler. Lawrie's birdie try to extend the match did not fall and it was all up to Montgomerie.
 
His birdie effort lipped out giving the Continental European duo of Cejka and Jacquelin a 2-and-1 win.
 
'After yesterday's win, Seve asked us if we would like to play together again today and I told him we would,' Cejka said. 'We play well together, we get on well together and as a result we make a pretty good team.'
 
Davis and Casey took a 1-up lead on the second hole when Davis rolled in a birdie. The match then became a see-saw. Jimenez won the seventh to even the match, but Davis won the ninth to regain a 1-up lead.
 
Garrido evened the match again with a birdie on No. 10. Casey responded with a birdie at the very next hole and Jimenez squared the match with a birdie on the 13th.
 
Casey took over down the stretch. He halved the 15th with a birdie, then holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the 17th for a 1-up lead. Needing only to halve the final hole, Casey closed out the match in style with his sixth birdie of the day and a 2-up conquest.
 
'That shot at the 17th came just at the right time because I hadn't been putting the way I had wanted to, so to see the ball drop to go 1-up with one to play was very nice,' said Casey, a two-time winner this season. 'It was very tense out there. Ignacio and Miguel Angel have both played the Ryder Cup and they put up a tough fight yesterday and it was the same again today.'
 
The fourth match saw some of the best golf of the day. Jacobson won the second with a birdie, but Harrington squared the match with a birdie on No. 4. Fasth birdied two of the next three holes to give his duo a 2-up lead.
 
Price cut the deficit to 1-down with a birdie on No. 9. Jacobson however extended his team's lead to 2-up by birdieing the 11th.
 
From there, it was all Harrington but the Irishman's play was not enough to secure the win. He ran off three straight birdies from the 12th to give his duo a 1-up lead. Fasth evened the match with a birdie on the 14th and Jacobson moved his duo to 1-up with a win at the next.
 
Harrington extended the match with a par on 17. He then rolled in a birdie at the last in an attempt to gain a 1/2 point, but Fasth matched his birdie to give Fasth and Jacobson a 1-up win.
 
The English duo of Rose and Poulter jumped all over the Spaniards, Olazabal and Ballesteros. Poulter birdied No. 2 and Rose No. 3 for a quick 2-up lead. Rose made it 3-up when he birdied the fifth and Poulter stretched that lead to 4-up with a birdie at the eighth.
 
Rose gave the Englishmen a 5-up cushion when he birdied the 11th. The Spaniards would not quit though. Ballesteros won his first hole of the day, and just second of the event, with a par at the par-3 12th.
 
Olazabal birdied the next two holes to cut the deficit to 2-down. He maintained the 2-down deficit as he halved the following two holes with pars.
 
However, the Spaniards struggled on 17 and Poulter took advantage. He rolled in a birdie at the par-3 to secure a 3-and-1 victory.
 
'It was tough to come out and face those two after yesterday's thrashing but I thought we dove-tailed well together,' said Poulter. 'It is a long way back for anyone to come back from 5-down in an 18 hole match but I suppose if anyone is going to do it, it is Seve and Olly.'
 
Saturday's action will see morning greensomes and afternoon foursomes before the traditional 10 singles matches on Sunday. The greensomes have both players teeing off, they then choose the best drive and play alternate shot the remainder of the hole.
 
Related Links:
  • Day 2 Scores - The Seve Trophy
  • Full Coverage - The Seve Trophy