Seve Trophy by Golf+ preview

GB&I take on Continental Europe this week for the Seve Trophy at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche outside Paris. The visitors are defending champions and are looking to make it seven wins in a row.

Team GB&I defends Seve Trophy (Getty Images)

Lowdown: GB&I take on Continental Europe this week for the Seve Trophy at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche outside Paris. The visitors are defending champions and are looking to make it seven wins in a row.

Jose Maria Olazabal will captain the side from Continental Europe while Sam Torrance heads team GB&I. Both have experience in leading successful Ryder Cup sides and this looks set to be a tight and exciting battle.

Each team was selected from the leading five available players on the Official World Golf Ranking and the leading five on the Race to Dubai. Although a number of star players have, controversially, chosen to skip the tournament, the sides look evenly matched.

Veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez will provide the backbone of the Continental Europe team. The Spaniard has played in every Seve Trophy since the tournament's inception and Bjorn has missed just one. Their experience will be complemented by the youth of talented players like Matteo Manassero, Joost Luiten and Thorbjorn Olesen.

On team GB&I, Paul Lawrie and Paul Casey have plenty of team competition experience behind them. The Scot was a member of last year's victorious Ryder Cup side and Casey has played in that great biennial event three times.

There'll also be a number of debutants on the GB&I side. Stephen Gallacher, Tommy Fleetwood, Simon Khan and David Lynn will all play in the Seve Trophy for the first time.

The format for this year's match has altered slightly. Saturday will witness two sessions of four foursomes matches, rather than a morning greensomes then afternoon foursomes. Day's one and two will feature five fourball matches, then Sunday will see 10 singles contests. To win outright, 14.5 points are required.

The first time this match was played, back in 2000 at Sunningdale, Continental Europe were the narrow victors. But, since then GB&I have dominated, winning six straight contests, most recently in 2011.

Last time out GB&I edged a thrilling contest. Continental Europe trailed by 11.5 to 6.5 going into the final day singles, but Jean Van De Velde's men won the first five singles matches to even things up. GB&I eventually came through, however, with wins by Ian Poulter, Scott Jamieson and Mark Foster.

Venue: Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, Paris, France Date: Oct 3-6 Course stats: par 71, 6,983 yards Purse: €1,750,000 Defending Champions: GB&I (15.5-12.5)

TV Coverage: Thursday 3 - Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am Friday 4 - Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am Saturday 5 - Sky Sports 2 from 7.30am Sunday 6 - Sky Sports 2 from 10am

Team line-ups

GB&I Captain - Sam Torrance                                              Previous Seve Trophy Appearances Paul Casey   (Eng)         2002, 03, 05, 07 Jamie Donaldson   (Wal)   2011 Stephen Gallacher (Sco)  Debut Tommy Fleetwood (Eng)  Debut Scott Jamieson (Sco)     2011 Simon Khan (Eng)          Debut Paul Lawrie (Sco)          2000, 02, 03 David Lynn   (Eng)         Debut Marc Warren (Sco)         2007 Chris Wood   (Eng)         2009

Continental Europe Captain - Jose Maria Olazabal

Thomas Bjorn (Den)        2000, 02, 03, 05, 07, 11 Gregory Bourdy (Fra)     Debut Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)      2011 Gonzalo Fdz-Castano (Esp) 2007, 09, 11 Mikko Ilonen (Fin)            2007 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp)   2000, 02, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Joost Luiten (Ned)               Debut Matteo Manassero (Ita)      2011 Francesco Molinari (Ita)      2009, 11 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)      Debut

Where next? Presidents Cup - Preview

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?