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Britain & Ireland retain Seve Trophy

KILLENARD, Ireland, Oct 1 (Reuters) Britain&Ireland crushed the Continent of Europe team 8-2 in the Seve Trophy singles to record their fourth successive victory in the event.

The home side, led by Ryder Cup skipper Nick Faldo, recovered from a three-point deficit after Saturday's greensomes and from being a point behind overnight to defeat their opponents, captained by Seve Ballesteros, 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 overall yesterday.

''It was great to turn it around,'' Faldo told a news conference.

''There were some pressure matches and the guys all came through.'' Former Britain&Ireland captain Colin Montgomerie made his first point of the week with a one-hole success over 2004 Ryder Cup team mate Robert Karlsson of Sweden in the first match out.

However, it was this year's European Tour maiden winner Graeme Storm, a former British Amateur champion, who led the final-day rout.

The Englishman's 6 and 5 success, though, was against Dane Thomas Bjorn who was still suffering the effects of a severe stomach upset that had kept him out of the previous day's play.

England's Paul Casey produced a scintillating display to outdo one of the week's success stories, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, 3 and 2, running up seven birdies in the first 11 holes.

World Matchplay champion Casey was left out of Saturday afternoon's foursomes to tidy up his swing with his captain and last year's European money-list runner-up came out a new man.

''I had a productive afternoon, a combination of what Nick said and my coach Peter Kostis,'' Casey told reporters.

''Nick could see I was getting stuck going back, his eye is very good, and Kostis added the final link.'' FIRST POINT Montgomerie finally found his putting touch, holing out from 25 feet on the long 14th and 12 feet on the 16th to stay ahead of a determined Karlsson.

His fellow Scot Marc Warren squeezed past Frenchman Gregory Havret, also for his first point.

Dane Soren Hansen was one of the few Europeans to get anything out of the finale, halving with England's Nick Dougherty. England's Simon Dyson continued the home run, though, with a 2 and 1 success over Finn Mikko Ilonen.

Englishman Phillip Archer, two down with two to play against Markus Brier, then produced the half point that made Britain&Ireland unassailable after the Austrian found water on the last.

Rookie Archer was undefeated for the week.

However, Bradley Dredge had, in theory, already sealed victory for Britain&Ireland by lying two up with two to play against Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and the unbeaten Welshman went on to prevail by two holes.

Swede Peter Hanson made the only full European point when he defeated England's Oliver Wilson by one hole at around the time that Justin Rose was closing down his match 2 and 1 against Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, who finished the week empty-handed.

Reuters BJR DB0930

Story first published: Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 16:49 [IST]
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