Captains Thomas Björn and Paul McGinley have announced strong teams for the Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, with 12 players from the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking competing at Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche Golf Club in Paris from September 24-27.
World Number Five Henrik Stenson, the highest ranked player in the field, will head Björn’s Continental Europe Team against McGinley’s Great Britain and Ireland Team, which includes two of the brightest young prospects on The European Tour in Rory McIlroy and Chris Wood.
Joining Swede Stenson will be compatriots Robert Karlsson and Peter Hanson, Danish trio Anders Hansen, Søren Hansen and Søren Kjeldsen and Spaniards Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Alvaro Quiros, while there is a debut for Italian Francesco Molinari.
Björn said: “I have a good bunch of guys and I can sense that they want to go to Paris next week and do a good job. It’s important everyone on the team stands together and gets right behind each other with heart and soul. When you get ten guys together they will not all necessarily be playing great golf, but it’s a question of getting everybody believing and dreaming the same dream and I am confident we can do that.”
Facing Continental Europe will be Irish pair Graeme McDowell and McIlroy alongside eight Englishmen; Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Robert Rock, Anthony Wall, Steve Webster, Oliver Wilson and Wood.
McGinley said: “I am going to be captaining some of the most exciting talent in world golf at the moment and that is a challenge in itself. I am looking forward immensely to working with quality players and see where we go. I am very much going into it with an open mind because I have things to learn and I’ve never done it before.”
In total six of Europe’s 2008 Ryder Cup Team will be part of the contest: Søren Hansen, Jiménez, Karlsson, McDowell, Stenson and Wilson.
The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros pits Europe’s leading golfers in a team competition format similar to the one seen at The Ryder Cup. Ten players represent both Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland over four days. There will be five fourballs on both Thursday and Friday, four greensomes on Saturday morning, four foursomes on Saturday afternoon and ten singles matches on Sunday.
In total 28 points are available with 14 ½ points required to win. In 2007 Continental Europe led 9 ½ - 8 ½ going into the last day, but Great Britain and Ireland won the singles 8-2 for a decisive 16 ½ - 11 ½ victory. Continental Europe won the inaugural event in 2000 but Great Britain and Ireland have won each of the four subsequent matches in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
European Tour Media Release