GBI Takes Outright Lead at Seve Trophy

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European TourBILLINGHAM, England -- Colin Montgomerie's wish came true, and then some.
 
The Great Britain & Ireland captain saw his team come all the way back from a bad first-day deficit to take a 9 1/2 - 8 1/2 lead at the Seve Trophy heading into Sunday's decisive singles matches.
 
Montgomerie had said he wanted to be tied with Continental Europe after morning greensomes on Saturday, and that's exactly what happened when his team won two matches and halved two more to knot things at 7-7.
 
In the afternoon foursomes, GB&I took the overnight lead by winning two matches and halving another. Montgomerie and Nick Dougherty beat Thomas Bjorn and Maarten Lafeber in the day's final match to give their team the one-point advantage.
 
The GB&I duo overcame a 1-down deficit with a birdie at the 14th and then took their 1-up lead when Dougherty rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
 
'To get back from 4-1 down to lead is great,' said Montgomerie, whose team fell behind 4-1 on Thursday before pulling within 6-4 after the second round of fourball matches on Friday. 'That's a lot of credit to the young guns, including Nick (Dougherty).'
 
'The Boys played their best and three matches went to the 18th this afternoon to show how close it is,' acknowledged Continental European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who sat out the foursomes after he and Thomas Levet were defeated during the morning greensomes at The Wynyard Golf Club.
 
'We have our backs to the wall a little bit, so we'll have to do our best in the singles.'
 
GB&I's other foursome win came from Paul Casey and David Howell, who played together for the fourth straight round and collected their third point with a 2 and 1 victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Emanuele Canonica.
 
The Continental Europeans picked up an afternoon point when Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson beat Bradley Dredge and Ian Poulter, 1-up.
 
In the first match of the day, Irishmen Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington were paired for the fourth straight round and earned a halve against Levet and Jean-Francois Remesy.
 
The GB&I duo turned a 1-down deficit into a 1-up lead with birdies on 16 and 17. Levet missed a 30-foot putt at 16 that would have halved the hole for the Continental Europeans, and Harrington curled in a 15-footer at 17 to give GB&I the lead.
 
But Levet and Remesy went on to win the 18th with a birdie to halve the match.
 
Casey and Howell, who trailed 2-down after six holes, squared the day's second match with a birdie at the 11th. They took a 1-up lead with a birdie at 13 and clinched the match when Howell made a 12-foot birdie putt from the left side of the green at 17.
 
Canonica had a similar putt moments earlier that he pushed right.
 
Dredge and Poulter trailed 1-down on seven of the first nine holes, but squared things with a birdie at the 10th. The score remained that way until Fasth and Stenson took a 1-up lead for good when Poulter lipped out a short putt on 15.
 
Poulter seemed frustrated all day for having to play what he believed were concession putts. But he didn't harp on it afterwards.
 
'It was just good old match play,' the Englishman said.
 
Dredge, who was kept out of the morning greensomes along with Montgomerie, is still without a point in the competition. Poulter was playing without Dougherty for the first time this week (Montgomerie had dubbed them the 'Hollywood' pairing).
 
Stenson is the only undefeated player in the match.
 
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