Seve predicts home advantage for Contintentals

By Brian Keogh

Seve Ballesteros reckons that Nick Faldo's wildcard boob will get the home crowd cheering for Continental Europe.

The Spanish ace looked on as Faldo squirmed under questioning over the resignation of Ryder Cup vice-captain Paul McGinley.

And with Faldo controversially deciding not to include an Irish player in his Great Britain and Ireland line-up, Seve believes the Irish crowd will be pulling for his Continental champions.

Seve beamed: "As you know, Padraig Harrington is not playing for the Great Britain and Ireland team. Obviously he's the Open champion and I would really love to see him playing.

"On the other hand, I feel lucky because he's the Open champion and he's playing very, very good and he had great confidence.

"Since there's no Irish player on the Great Britain and Ireland team, I have the impression that the country will pull for the Continental team, the European team. Overall I'm very happy."

Since losing the inaugural Seve Trophy match in 2000, the GB&I side has won the last three editions to lead the series 3-1.

And Ballesteros is hoping that Faldo is not as successful as his predecessor in the captain's hat - Colin Mongtomerie.

Impishly, Seve said: "I would like to say congratulations to you Nick for accepting the captaincy of the British and Irish team.

"Hopefully you are not as successful as Colin Montgomerie in the last three."

But Ballesteros did inject some humour into the proceedings and he explained Faldo's dilemma at snubbing an Irishman for a captain's pick while trying to choose the best side for the matches.

Seve said: "Nick knows what he is doing and what he needs for the future Ryder Cup team with his decision.

"You can't really have the grandmother drunk and the bottle full at the same time. That is a Spanish saying.”

Ballesteros picked his fourball pairings for the opening day along national lines with the Swedes, Spaniards, French and Danes all paired together.

The odd men out, Austria’s Markus Brier and Finn Mikko Ilonen were paired together in the final match against England’s Justin Rose and Oliver Wilson.