The Continental took a 3-2 lead in their opening match at the Heroes Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday, showing their British and Irish opponents a trick or two.
Tommy Fleetwood and Sean Lowry defeated another top pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Sean Lowry in their opening match at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Thomas Pieters and Alex Noren.
Frenchmen Antoine Rozner and Thomas Detry then went 2-up over Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Smith to take a 2-0 lead before two draws and a win for GB&! Cut the deficit to one point, organizers said.
Seamus Power and Robert MacIntyre beat Sepp Straka and Adrian Meronk 4&3 in the most one-sided race of the day to give GB&I their only perfect score.
Victor Perez and Guido Migliozzi are joined by Callum Shinkwin and Matt Wallace, while Continental captains Francesco Molinari and Nicolai Hojgaard are joined by Ewen Ferguson and Richard Mansell.
Both draws stretched long enough to be decided on the 18th and final hole, where Perez-Migliozzi lost on the final hole, leaving Wallace and Shinkwin half a point.
National standard &! We were also under pressure in the second tie, until Mansell made a pressure putt on the final hole to stop Højgaard and opposing captain Molinari.
MacIntyre and Power delighted their skipper Fleetwood, who later said: “I thought it was a very good first day. It was very competitive, played a lot of good golf and surprisingly, Four out of five games ended on the last hole. That just shows you how tight it is and how competitive it is.
“Both Mac and Power say they love it and play great. When you play on a team, it’s different, chemistry is probably the most important thing. You can look at all the stats you want, but being able to play well People who fit together well and have chemistry really matter.
“We’ll see what happens the rest of the week, but I’m happy for the players who are playing so well, overall we’re the only team that’s playing so well, so I Guess we’ll take that as a positive.”
In the top-flight, Europe looked like it was running away as Belgium’s Pieters and Sweden’s Noren led by three shots on the front nine, and Pieters played some fine golf.
Fleetwood and Lowry fought back well to earn tenth. Nolen then holed out with two consecutive putts to maintain his team’s two-hole advantage.
Fleetwood tied the game on the 14th and 15th holes, and then Noren sealed Europe’s one-shot advantage with a putt.
“It’s been a battle for me,” Noren said. “I hit some good golf in the middle, but it was nice to get up and down the last one. Thomas ended up hitting some great shots, and the whole front nine, he played really well. He helped the most, awesome.”
Result – Day 1 Foursomes (Europe leads 3-2)
Noren/Pieters (continued) bt Fleetwood/Lowry (GBI) 1-up
Rozner/Detry (continued) bt Hatton/Smith (GBI) 2-up
Shinkwin/Wallace (GBI) tied with Migliozzi/Perez (Cont Eur)
Ferguson/Mansell (GBI) tied with Molinari/Hoygaard (Cont Eur)
Macintyre/Power (GBI) bt Meronk/Straka (Continued from Europe) 4&3