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Many top Europeans missing from Seve Trophy

Just two of Europe's top 10 players will be playing when Continental Europe takes on Britain & Ireland in the Seve Trophy team event this week.

Justin Rose and Paul Casey are both playing on the Britain & Ireland team, making the home side the favorite at The Heritage Club when play starts with five fourball matches Thursday.

The Europe team is captained by Seve Ballesteros, for whom the competition is named, but is without its four highest-ranked players -- Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Fasth and Anders Hansen.

Britain & Ireland is in a similar situation, as British Open champion Padraig Harrington, British Masters winner Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter are all missing because of injury or other commitments.

Nick Faldo is captaining the squad -- which has no Irish players -- to gain experience for his assignment as Europe's Ryder Cup captain next year in Louisville, Ky.

Local fans were disappointed that Faldo didn't name Irishman Paul McGinley for either of his two wild card picks, instead selecting Britain's Simon Dyson and Marc Warren.

"I felt I should put the young guns in who were chomping at the bit to play," Faldo said. "I spoke to Paul and he is comfortable with my picks."

McGinley informed Faldo on Wednesday that he was resigning as Ryder Cup vice captain, saying he wants to focus on qualifying as a player instead.

Britain & Ireland have won three of the previous four matches.

In Thursday's opening event, Montgomerie and Marc Warren are paired against Swedish duo Hanson and Robert Karlsson, while Nick Dougherty and Graeme Storm play Bjorn and Soren Hansen, both from Denmark.


September 27, 2007

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