José María Olazábal pleaded with the top players to keep the Seve Trophy alive after he inspired the Continental Europeans on Sunday to their first win since 2000.
Despite eight members of the world’s top 20 skipping the biennial match – founded as the dress rehearsal for the Ryder Cup – St-Nom-La-Breteche witnessed an exciting tournament which went to the very last match.
Francesco Molinari’s 3 & 2 win over Chris Wood meant the Continentals prevailed 15-13 over Great Britain & Ireland and Olazábal was keen to stress the importance of the future of the four-day match.
“This has been a great week and I’m so happy that after six defeats in a row we’ve finally won,” the Spaniard said. “It would be a shame if the Seve Trophy didn’t carry on for many years as this has been such a wonderful match. We need as many big names as possible.”
Alas, unless the European Tour can find a sponsor, this, indeed, may be the last staging of the Seve Trophy. The Presidents Cup, meanwhile, will carry on regardless, despite the ridiculous one-sided nature of the competition. Whereas the Seve Trophy has witnessed close encounters, it has been one Presidents landslide after another. And the great Memorial course in Ohio was celebrating another on Sunday night as the US beat the Internationals for the fifth time in a row 18.5-15.5.
In truth, the Presidents Cup result was decided after the rain-delayed four balls were concluded yesterday morning, affording the home side a 14-8 lead. Tiger Woods was the match’s top points-scorer with four, following his victory against the South African Richard Sterne.
If Tom Watson, the US Ryder Cup captain, takes away anything from this latest excuse for a nail-biter it is that Woods and Matt Kuchar formed a formidable partnership. They won three out of four as a partnership.
“It was a team effort this whole week,” said Woods.
Fred Couples, the US captain, knew there was again a simple reason why his team won for the third time under his leadership. It is remarkable that he has yet to be asked to be Ryder Cup captain.
“We just outperformed them by making a few more putts,” Couples said. Asked if he was going to come back as captain again, Couples said he was not interested. “A three-peat is good enough for me.”