Seve Trophy 2011: GB&I open first-day lead over Europe

Miguel Angel Jimenez
Jimenez hits the opening tee shot of the Seve Trophy

Great Britain and Ireland have taken a commanding 4-1 lead over Continental Europe after the opening day fourballs at the Seve Trophy in France.

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez hit the first shot of the Ryder Cup-style event, which was created by Seve Ballesteros who died in May.

Scott Jamieson and Ross Fisher led the way with a 6&4 victory, while Robert Rock and Ian Poulter were 5&3 winners.

Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari were Europe's only victorious pairing.

They took the lead on the par-five 15th, courtesy of a Molinari birdie and went on to defeat Mark Foster and Lee Westwood by one hole - but it proved the only highlight on a bleak day for the European side.

Britain and Ireland captain Paul McGinley said: "I'm obviously delighted, really delighted I got my pairings right. I had experience in each group."

However, the Irishman has warned his played not to get carried away with their terrific start.

"It's important to pace ourselves," he said. "It's a very, very strong European team and we certainly will not be underestimating them.

"We played really good golf, but if we are going to win this, we have to keep on playing to that standard because they are going to come back, there's nothing surer than that."

In near-perfect conditions at the Saint-Nom-la-Breteche course, near Paris, the visitors were up in all five matches at the turn.

Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson set the tone in the top match, taking a narrow lead and then countering Jimenez's attacking iron play on the back nine to record a 2&1 win.

Scotland's Jamieson and England's Fisher held a two-hole advantage after nine holes and won four of the next five to run out comfortable winners.

Open champion Darren Clarke found the middle of the 18th green to ensure he and David Horsey held off the challenge of Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero while Rock's solid putting helped he and Poulter triumph.

Europe captain Jean van der Velde was impressed with the way Great Britain & Ireland performed on the greens.

"I didn't see too many missed putts by them to be frankly honest," said the Frenchman.

"They seemed to find the groove."

Great Britain & Ireland have won the last five stagings of the Seve Trophy, with Continental Europe victorious just once, in the opening competition in 2000.

McGinley has kept his five pairings in tact for the the second-day fourballs which tee off from 1035 BST on Friday.

1035 R Jacquelin (Fra) & T Bjorn (Den) v J Donaldson (Wal) & S Dyson (Eng)

1050 P Hanson (Swe) & A Noren (Swe) v I Poulter (Eng) & R Rock (Eng)

1105 N Colsaerts (Bel) & M Manassero (Ita) v R Fisher (Eng) & S Jamieson (Sco)

1120 F Molinari (Ita) & A Hansen (Den) v M Foster (Eng) & L Westwood (Eng)

1135 MA Jimenez (Spa) & P Larrazabal (Spa) v D Horsey (Eng) & D Clarke (NI)