GB&I captain Tommy Fleetwood won both his matches on Saturday

Great Britain and Ireland trail by two points going into the final day of the Hero Cup after Continental Europe edged the afternoon foursomes on day two.

Francesco Molinari’s Europe held a one-point overnight lead and maintained their narrow advantage when both teams took 2.5 points from the Saturday morning foursomes.


However, Continental Europe then took the afternoon session 3-2, giving them a 8.5-6.5 lead heading into the deciding 10 singles matches at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Sunday.

Great Britain and Ireland captain Tommy Fleetwood picked up two wins from two, first partnering fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton to victory over Austria’s Sepp Straka and Belgium’s Thomas Detry, before he and Jordan Smith recorded a 2&1 win over Swede Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters of Belgium.

Callum Shinkwin and Matt Wallace made three birdies in their last five holes to seal a 2&1 win over Frenchman Antoine Rozner and Poland’s Adrian Meronk, but the other three afternoon ties went to Continental Europe.

Molinari and Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard beat Ewen Ferguson and Richard Mansell 2&1, while Detry and Straka held on against Hatton and Shane Lowry with Detry holing a long birdie putt on the 17th.

Victor Perez and Guido Migliozzi then defeated Robert MacIntyre and Seamus Power 2&1, ending Scot MacIntyre’s hopes of a third straight win.

“In the morning, there was some amazing golf played and literally as guys start fatiguing and they have to get themselves back up for the afternoon, the standard of golf changes and it’s more mistakes,” said Fleetwood.

“It’s really important to keep your body language up and push all the way to the end. I was proud of how our guys did that.

“A couple of matches could have gone either way. We ended the day two points behind, but two points behind is fine and we have a full singles session to go.

“We can reflect on today and we’ll all sit in the team room and we’ll be talking about our rounds and everything, but overall we go out and get a fast start tomorrow, we’re straight back in the game.”

Opposite number Molinari said: “We’ve done a great job winning two sessions out of three, and halving the other one. So we need to go out and win the session.

“Two points is nothing. We have been in situations where much bigger margins were eroded. But I’ve got full trust and confidence in all the other nine guys, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of tomorrow.”

The Hero Cup has been introduced to give more players more experience of a matchplay team tournament with an eye on the Ryder Cup, which is staged biennially between Europe and the United States.

Europe captain Luke Donald is overseeing this year’s event as he prepares for the next Ryder Cup in Rome in September.