Britain and Ireland fight back in Seve Trophy

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KILLENARD, Ireland, Sep 29 (Reuters) Britain and Ireland came roaring back in the Seve Trophy foursomes to leave the match with Continental Europe on a knife edge.

After trailing by three points following the morning greensomes, captain Nick Faldo's home side took the foursomes 3-1 to leave Europe with a 9 1/2-8 1/2 lead going into today's 10 singles.

This was despite Colin Montgomerie again finding his match a struggle.

The former Britain and Ireland skipper is still without a point after he and Graeme Storm lost 3 and 2 to Swede Robert Karlsson and Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Montgomerie had a poor day with his putter whereas Karlsson and Fernandez-Castano enjoyed the sodden Heritage greens, soaked by heavy afternoon rain.

This was typified at the 13th when Karlsson slid home a curling 25-footer for birdie while Montgomerie missed from four feet.

Four back-nine birdies in six holes led the European duo to victory.

Faldo, aiming for a fourth successive Britain and Ireland win in the event, will put Montgomerie out first in today's singles.

''I've done it to fluff up his feathers,'' joked Faldo at a news conference. ''I know how Monty loves that position to try to get the right colour on the board straight away.'' MAXIMUM POINTS Justin Rose and Nick Dougherty started the home team's fightback with a 2 and 1 triumph over Frenchmen Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret, who had until then gained maximum points from three matches.

Rose's chip-in to birdie the 16th proved decisive.

Simon Dyson, one of Faldo's wildcards, and Oliver Wilson then eased past Scandinavians Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson 3 and 2.

The final match proved the closest, with Bradley Dredge and Phillip Archer almost allowing themselves to be caught by Markus Brier of Austria and experienced Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Dredge and Archer were three up with five holes to go but it was not until Brier found water with his approach on 18 that the home pair secured a two-hole win.

Earlier, Europe surged ahead with an inspired morning greensomes display reminiscent of skipper Seve Ballesteros's days as a player.

Havret recorded a hole-in-one with a four-iron at the short seventh as he and Jacquelin continued their winning ways while Dane Hansen and Swede Hanson claimed the only eagle-two of the week in another Continental Europe victory.

Europe took the greensomes 3 1/2-1/2.

''The quality of golf's been great and the focus too,'' added Faldo. ''The guys are really into it.'' The home captain has made Rose his last player in the singles because he believes the match could go to the wire.

Ballesteros has put Jimenez, his most experienced man, in the final game.

''I'm hoping it will be over in our favour by then but Miguel Angel's there just in case,'' said Europe's skipper.

REUTERS BJR RK1007

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