SAINT-NOM-LA-BRETECHE – Great Britain and Ireland won the Vivendi Trophy for a fifth consecutive time Sunday after beating Continental Europe 16 1/2 -11 1/2 following the final 10 singles matches.
Great Britain and Ireland quickly took an insurmountable 15-7 lead with seven singles matches remaining after Rory McIlroy defeated Henrik Stenson by one hole and Graeme McDowell beat Robert Karlsson 3 and 2.
The European players fought back to reduce the deficit, including Anders Hansen’s 7-and-6 thrashing of Nick Dougherty.
England’s Anthony Wall pulled out of his match against Spaniard Alvaro Quiros at the start of the day because of a shoulder injury, giving both teams a half point. That meant Great Britain and Ireland needed just 1 1/2 points from the nine remaining matchups to win.
The defending champions set up their victory during Saturday’s greensomes and foursomes, when they opened up a seven-point lead at Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club.
The Vivendi Trophy was first played in 2000, when it was called the Seve Trophy for Seve Ballesteros. Continental Europe won the inaugural tournament before Great Britain and Ireland won five in a row in the event played every other year.
Ballesteros, who has undergone four operations to remove a cancerous brain tumor, had hoped to attend this weekend but decided to stay home because of fatigue.
“I am very sorry I cannot be with you this year,” Ballesteros said in a video message posted Sunday. “I just finished my radiotherapy and that really makes me very tired. That was expected. Hopefully I should be OK in about one month.”
Ballesteros added that he was looking forward for the seventh edition of the tournament in 2011.