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New GB&I vs Europe "Ryder Cup"

Continental Europe will play Britain and Ireland in a new 1.5 million pounds ($2.40 million) Ryder Cup-style golf tournament named after Seve Ballesteros.

The new event - the Seve Ballesteros Trophy - will be played every two years, it was announced on Thursday. April's maiden event will take place at the Old Course in Sunningdale.

Former European Ryder Cup captain Ballesteros will lead a 10-strong continental team against a British and Irish team captained by Colin Montgomerie from April 14-16.

Ballesteros said: "The first edition ... will be played in Britain because I wish to repay the British people for making Spain the host country for the 1997 Ryder Cup.

"I have also received throughout my career fantastic support from the British public whose love for the game of golf is second to none."

The event will include foursomes, fourballs, greensomes and singles with each member of the winning team receiving 92,000 pounds ($147,100).

The teams will include their leading seven players in the 1999 order of merit, one player who is in the top 10 of the 2000 order of merit as of April 9 and one wildcard pick.

Montgomerie's team will include Lee Westwood, Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Mark James, John Bickerton and Gary Orr.

Europe's team will include Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jarmo Sandelin, Jean Van De Velde, Thomas Bjorn, Bernhard Langer and Alex Cejka.

The event will be staged by the European Tour. Executive director of the tour Ken Schofield said the trophy will "provide a unique opportunity for many of the best players in the world to meet in an exciting new team event".

"Significantly Seve was, in 1979, a member of the first (Ryder Cup) Europe Team to include tour members from the continent."

Montgomerie is relishing the challenge. "I am delighted to have been appointed captain of the Great Britain and Ireland team," he said.

"This will be a very special match in which to be involved, not simply because it carries Seve's name, but also as so many great players will be competing.

"You only have to look at the quality on both sides to see that the competition will be very interesting and very close."

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