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GB’s Cotterill & Lapthorne lose Masters final

Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne were the top seeds in Bemmel Great Britain’s Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne were lost the men’s Wheelchair Doubles Masters quads final in straight sets to Nick Taylor and David Wagner. The American pair won 6-4 7-6 in the Netherlands – their fifth victory in eight meetings with the top seeds. Bryan Barten and Ymanitu Silva beat Greg Hasterok and Lucas Sithole 6-4 6-2 in the bronze medal match. Cotterill and Lapthorne last won the event in 2016. Briton Gordon Reid and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez were beaten in the semi-finals of the men’s doubles by

Ryder Cup: USA have got it WRONG but I disagree with Thomas Bjorn – Tony Jacklin EXCLUSIVE

But it wasn’t a case of our boys producing phenomenal displays. They just played steady golf while the Americans seemed to be knocked sideways by it all.

The pressure was really on the Europeans after they lost the morning fourballs 3-1 but they holed some good putts early on, the Americans quickly got behind the eight-ball and never recovered.

Once you build up a head of steam and get momentum in that arena, the way the Europeans did, it appeared as though they could do no wrong.

I have to say the Francesco Molinari-Tommy Fleetwood pairing looked nigh on unbeatable. They seem so happy to be in each other’s company, they were laughing and smiling all the way round Le Golf National – and they deserved to be after winning both their matches.

It is so important the captain gets his pairings right in the Ryder Cup. I didn’t see any spark, for instance, from the Rory McIlroy-Thorbjorn Olesen combination in the morning. Rory struggled and Thorbjorn looked a bit uncomfortable.

Come the afternoon, though, and McIlroy and Ian Poulter looked good together while Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson again showed what a strong pair they are.

Fleetwood has really come to the fore on the international stage in the last couple of years and he is so comfortable in this environment now. He’s a top-class player, just like his partner.

Molinari has also turned into one of the best golfers in the world. He is rock-solid from tee to green and has developed into a decent putter too. His confidence shone through yesterday and he was more animated than when he won The Open at Carnoustie in July. He’s a great asset to this team.

It shows how this event gets to the players. At The Open he would have been concerned just with himself. The Ryder Cup, though, is a whole different ballgame. The players are all too aware they are out there to do their best not just for themselves but for every member of the team.

Alex Noren is another one. He is normally so calm and phlegmatic but you could see the emotion got to him yesterday. He was almost in tears when he was being interviewed on TV after his victory alongside Sergio Garcia.

Noren played great and settled in beautifully in spite of his rookie status. Sergio had his moments yesterday with a couple of stray shots. He had one coming down the stretch but by then he and his partner were six up and it wasn’t important.

Europe have a big advantage on this course because for the American power players like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, it takes them out of the equation.

It’s far more important to play from the fairway than being 30 or 40 yards further forward. You simply cannot guarantee where the ball is going to go from the rough.

The Europeans love this course. They’ve all played it numerous times and know it better. It’s all ifs and buts for the Americans in terms of deciding which club they are hitting from the tee and when you go a couple of holes down in matchplay, you start taking risks and end up taking more club off than you should.

It’s a perfect Ryder Cup venue. There is a sea of 50,000 people out there but everyone can find a vantage point. There’s always a good place to watch from.

That was a fantastic foursomes performance from Europe and it will be great if they can continue to build on their lead ahead of the final-day singles.

I see that Thomas Bjorn has tinkered with his lineup for today’s fourballs but if I was captain I’d have been tempted to put the same players out because when you get momentum in this thing, you have to try to ride the wave.

As told to Tony Jimenez

Tony Jacklin CBE is one of golf’s most acclaimed after-dinner speakers and hosts a number of charity golfing events in partnership with Champions (UK) plc.


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