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Powerful line-up for Seve Trophy despite absentees

Twelve of the top 50 players in the world rankings will feature in next week's Seve Trophy match (The Vivendi Trophy with Severiano Ballesteros) between teams from Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe, organisers said in a news release on Tuesday.

World number five Henrik Stenson spearheads captain Thomas Bjorn's Europe side at St-Nom-la-Breteche in Versailles, France from Sept. 24 to 27.

Joining Stenson will be fellow Swedes Robert Karlsson and Peter Hanson, Danish trio Anders Hansen, Soren Hansen and Soren Kjeldsen, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros, and Italy's Francesco Molinari.

Bjorn does not have Martin Kaymer because of his go-karting injury and Sergio Garcia is unavailable, but Robert Karlsson is named for what would be his first event since May. Last year's European number one has been suffering from a blister behind a retina, thought to be stress-related.

Skipper Paul McGinley's Britain and Ireland team contains Englishmen Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Robert Rock, Anthony Wall, Steve Webster, Oliver Wilson and Chris Wood, and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

Anthony Wall's sixth place finish in the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Germany last week earns him a debut for Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe.

Paul McGinley's side has suffered a number of withdrawals for the event in Paris next week. Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald are the only two who have qualified for the Tour Championship in Atlanta, but Paul Casey is still recovering from injury and Lee Westwood has confirmed he wants the week off. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are believed to have followed suit.

McGinley nevertheless remains in bullish mood. "I am going to be captaining some of the most exciting talent in world golf at the moment and that is a challenge in itself," he said.

The format in the four-day competition is similar to the one used in the Ryder Cup. There will be five fourballs on both Thursday and Friday, four greensomes on Saturday morning, four foursomes on Saturday afternoon and 10 singles on Sunday.


Britain and Ireland - Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell, Chris Wood, Simon Dyson, Robert Rock, Nick Dougherty, Steve Webster, Anthony Wall.

Continental Europe - Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Soren Kjeldsen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Soren Hansen, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alvaro Quiros, Peter Hanson, Anders Hansen, Francesco Molinari.

September 16, 2009

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