SAINT-NOM-LA-BRETECHE, France – Britain and Ireland trimmed Continental Europe's lead to one point in the Seve Trophy after edging Friday's second day of four-balls.
Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano equaled the biggest winning margin in the tournament's history with a 6 and 5 win over B&I's Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher in the Ryder Cup-style team match-play event.
But Paul Casey and Simon Khan beat Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjorn Olesen 3 and 2, Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren won 4 and 2 against veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez, while David Lynn and Scott Jamieson overcame Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero by one hole.
Gregory Bourdy and Joost Luiten continued their good form from Thursday to beat Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood by the same margin.
"There is just a fraction of disappointment. We let a point go with the Italians, they had the match under control until the very end," Europe Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said. "Overall (losing the day by) 3-2 is not that bad. These guys play great golf, and you have to be on your toes. When you play at this kind of level, it's decided on little things, and today was a good proof of that."
Continental Europe leads 5 1/2 to 4 1/2 heading into the weekend.
A six-foot birdie from Jamieson secured his win with Lynn on the final hole after the Italians had been 1 up with two holes to play.
"The golf that was played was beautiful," B&I Captain Sam Torrance said.
B&I could even have finished the day all square with Europe as Fleetwood and Wood fought back strongly from 3 down after 14 holes. Wood's eagle on the 17th ensured the match went to the final hole, where both he and Fleetwood had putts to halve the match, but missed.
On Saturday, there will be both a morning session and an afternoon session, each consisting of four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.
Lawrie expressed his disappointment last week that eight of his Ryder Cup teammates snubbed the tournament.
Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter aren't playing despite being B&I's six leading qualifiers. Sergio Garcia and Peter Hansen declined places in the Europe team.
The Seve Trophy, which is played in non-Ryder Cup years, is named after the late Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011.
Friday four-balls results:
Paul Casey/Simon Khan, B&I, def. Mikko Ilonen/Thorbjorn Olesen, CE, 3&2
David Lynn/Scott Jamieson, B&I, def. Francesco Molinari/Matteo Manassero, CE, 1 hole
Jamie Donaldson/Marc Warren, B&I, def. Thomas Bjorn/Miguel Angel Jimenez, CE, 4&2
Joost Luiten/Gregory Bourdy, CE, def. Tommy Fleetwood/Chris Wood, B&I, 1 hole
Nicolas Colsaerts/Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, CE, def. Paul Lawrie/Stephen Gallacher, B&I, 6&5
DAY 2: Britain & Ireland 3, Continental Europe 2
TOTAL: Continental Europe 5 1/2, Britain & Ireland 4 1/2
Saturday morning foursomes pairings:
Gallacher/Lawrie, B&I, vs. Colsaerts/Fernandez-Castano, CE
Donaldson/Warren, B&I, vs. Luiten/Bourdy, CE
Wood/Jamieson, B&I, vs. Olesen/Molinari, CE
Casey/Fleetwood, B&I, vs. Jimenez/Manassero, CE