The seventh Vivendi Seve Trophy will take place this week instead of the usual stroke play of the European Tour, and the Golf de St Nom la Breteche in France will be the host of this year’s competition.
The tournament pits the golfers of continental Europe against Great Britian and Ireland’s golfers, and this year’s GB and Ireland captain is Dublin man Paul McGinley, while Frenchman Jean Van de Velde will captain the continent’s team.
The tournament, which is named after one of the instigators behind its conception, the legendary Seve Ballesteros, has been won by Europe every year except its first year in 2000, when Seve himself captained the Europeans to their only victory.
It takes place every two years between Ryder Cup years, with the GB&I team having won it every year since 2002, and this year they will have the same captain who led them to their 6th victory at the same venue in Paris in 2009.
Last year GB&I won the tournament 16 ½ to 11 ½; the same score they have beaten the Europeans by for the past three tournaments.
The in-form Simon Dyson should be a big asset to the GB&I team with his two wins on the European Tour coming late in the year at the Irish Open and as recently as last week at the KLM Open in the Netherlands.
Paul McGinley can also boast the highest placed player in World Rankings and in the Race to Dubai rankings as Lee Westwood is 2nd in golf’s world rankings and 4th in the Race to Dubai.
Anders Hansen is just two places behind Westwood in the Race to Dubai rankings at 6th while Thomas Bjorn sits in 7th with Darren Clarke and Dyson behind him at 8th and 9th respectively.
Clarke is the current Open Championship winner while Thomas Bjorn will be a danger for the GB&I team, having won back to back tournaments in August and September when he won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and then came out on top in Switzerland at the Omega European Masters.
The European team : Thomas Bjorn, Nicolas Colsaerts, Anders Hansen, Peter Hanson, Raphael Jacquelin, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Pablo Larrazábal, Matteo Manassero, Francesco Molinari and Alexander Noren.
The GB&I team : Darren Clarke, Jamie Donaldson, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Mark Foster, David Horsey, Scott Jamieson, Ian Poulter, Robert Rock and Lee Westwood.