Vivendi Seve Trophy - Bill Elliott's view

GM's editor at large has his say on the Vivendi Seve Trophy. The Vivendi Seve Trophy has had its criticism in recent times. Find out what Bill Elliott has to say on the match between GB&I and Continental Europe

Jean van de Velde

So it turns out that the Vivendi Seve Trophy is not such a disaster after all. A couple of weeks ago the word was that no-one who was anyone - or even used to be someone - wanted to trudge to Paris to play in the GB&I versus Continental Europe match.

Sponsors were edgy, the European Tour hierarchy were edgy. Even I felt a bit squiffy about the Vivendi Seve Trophy .

Now, however, we know that marquee names like Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter will be on Paul McGinley's side while Thomas Bjorn-Again, Matteo Manassero and Miguel Angel Jimenez will be pretending to listen to their captain's advice when Jean Van de Velde speaks earnestly about how to take on water hazards.

However this turnaround in fortune has come about, it is to be applauded. Obviously there is added piquancy this year to a competition that was conceived and encourged by Seve himself and, anyway, it offers a reasonably attractive alternative to the often humdrum stuff on offer during the usual diet of relentless 72-hole strokeplay.

See also: Vivendi Seve Trophy news

What the players also have the chance to do is to play this form of the game quickly, or at least quicker than is now too often the abysmal standard on both sides of the Atlantic.

Slow play is, if anything, getting worse. I don't think it's my imagination but the majority of young players coming on to the two main tours seem incapable of doing anything without rehearsing it so many times I often find myself willing them to duff the damn thing.

Seve himself was never slow although, to be fair, it did sometimes take a while to actually locate some of his more erratic drives. Fact is that he hated slow play and once hatched a plot with his pal Jose-Maria Olazabal to sit down during a tournament and have a picnic brought out to them in the middle of the fairway. Ollie nearly did it too

At least if someone decides to do the same during this Seve Trophy match in Paris the food should be worth waiting for.

Bill Elliott: Read more from our editor at large

The Vivendi Seve Trophy takes place in Paris from September 15-18.

Editor At Large

Bill has been part of the Golf Monthly woodwork for many years. A very respected Golf Journalist he has attended over 40 Open Championships. Bill  was the Observer's golf correspondent. He spent 26 years as a sports writer for Express Newspapers and is a former Magazine Sportswriter of the Year. After 40 years on 'Fleet Street' starting with the Daily Express and finishing on The Observer and Guardian in 2010. Now semi-retired but still Editor at Large of Golf Monthly Magazine and regular broadcaster for BBC and Sky. Author of several golf-related books and a former chairman of the Association of Golf Writers. Experienced after dinner speaker.