It's advantage Continental Europe after day one of the Seve Trophy as Jose Maria Olazabal's side take a two point lead into the day two fourballs. Our man Mike Norman gives his selections...
"You can't help but have been impressed with Joost Luiten on Thursday, I don't think he had a putt longer than 20 feet on the front nine such was his excellent iron play."
Ilonen/Olesen v Casey/Khan - 10:35
'If it ain't broke then don't fix it' is clearly the thinking behind Jose Maria Olazabal's pairings for Friday's fourballs as all five are exactly the same as Thursday. Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjorn Olesen won by one hole but it wasn't pretty at times with Olesen clearly struggling with his game. In fact, the official scorecard for Thursday's victory shows that Ilonen recorded his side's score on 14 of the 18 holes played.
Paul Casey and Simon Khan also played together on Thursday and the pairing is retained after securing a half point against the Italian pairing; only a Francesco Molinari birdie on the 18th denied the Englishmen a full point. Casey and Khan dovetailed each other very well, and I fancy them to have the edge in this match as surely Ilonen won't be able to 'carry' Olesen as well as he did on day one.
This will be very tough for David Lynn and Scott Jamieson, the latter was thrashed 5&3 in his opening match alongside Marc Warren, while Lynn went down 2&1 when paired with Jamie Donaldson. After starting the season well, both have done very little on the European Tour in recent weeks. Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero combined well on Thursday, 'Manny' making the birdies on the front nine and 'Molly' doing the business on the back nine. They look a strong combination who find fairways and greens for fun and I can see them winning this match with relative ease.
Bjorn/Jimenez v Donaldson/Warren - 11:05
I was very surprised at how poor Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez played on Thursday, especially the Dane who had a particularly bad round and contributed in just two of the 16 holes played, of which both were halved. Jimenez himself had just three birdies and in the end the duo were soundly beaten.
Unfortunately Marc Warren and Jamie Donaldson were defeated too, but at least the Welshman played well and was unlucky to run into an inspired Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy. It's a tough one this; surely the European team can't play as badly as they did on day one, but would you want to be backing them at just 1.748/11? No, me neither. A speculative wager goes on the match ending all square then.
Luiten/Bourdy v Fleetwood/Wood - 11:20
You can't help but have been impressed with Joost Luiten on Thursday, I don't think he had a putt longer than 20 feet on the front nine such was his excellent iron play. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, he didn't get chance to convert most of his birdie opportunities as his partner Gregory Bourdy made a string of early putts to win or half holes. They were very impressive together.
You would have expected the Europeans to be odds-on to win this match then but no, they are available to back at 2.1511/10 which is very tempting. Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood will be no pushovers but the former didn't sparkle on day one and I'm in two minds as to whether this venue suits his game. Chris Wood did play well however, and he'll ensure that this match is closely fought, but given how impressive Luiten and Bourdy were on Thursday they have to be backed again.
Both these pairings were victorious on Thursday but while you got the feeling that Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher were rather handed their match, the same can't be said of Friday's opponents. Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano played some sublime golf - eight under par through 15 holes - and comfortably beat the Scottish pairing of Warren and Jamieson. A reproduction should see the Europeans take another point as they stroll to Seve Trophy glory.