Golf: Ballesteros taken with greensomes: Tournoi Perrier de Paris

WHEN the sweetest double act since Tate & Lyle swung into action here yesterday morning, the temperature was -1F and the number of spectators was barely higher. Some people may think the Tournoi Perrier de Paris is an event straight out of Euro Disney, but not Jose-Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros.

The format at Golf de Saint-Cloud is fourballs, foursomes, greensomes and, for the final round tomorrow, fourballs again. 'It's a wonderful idea,' Ballesteros said. 'It's just what the (European) Tour needs to break the monotony. An endless stream of strokeplay events is boring. If this was just another tournament we wouldn't be here.'

Yesterday, the most successful Ryder Cup pair in history shot 67 in the foursomes (the one where you hit alternate shots, ie, Seve drives into the trees and then Olly peppers the pin) to stand at a healthy 10 under par at the half-way stage. Today, it is greensomes (the one where both players drive and the foursomes format resumes from the best drive) and Ballesteros is so taken with the whole ball game that he wants it introduced into the Ryder Cup.

At present, the biennial match between Europe and the United States consists of foursomes, fourballs and singles with 28 points at stake. Ballesteros, who is a member of the Ryder Cup committee, wants to add greensomes. 'The more matches we have before the singles would be in our favour,' he said. Europe are traditionally strong at the team game and weak in the singles. In the last six competitions, Europe have never been behind going into the final day.

Coincidentally, it was announced in America that a new competition, the United States versus the Rest of the World, will be inaugurated this year. Called the President's Cup, it will have similar specifications to the Ryder Cup, teams of 12, matches over three days, etc., but the major difference is that there will be five fourballs and foursomes. It will be played in a non-Ryder Cup year and the Rest of the World team will contain players from anywhere but Europe. Thus people like Greg Norman, Nick Price and Ernie Els would be eligible. The first match will be in Washington DC on 16 to 18 September and will clash with the Dunhill British Masters at Woburn.

The first prize here is pounds 70,000 (pounds 35,000 apiece) and there is no doubt that Olazabal, who has won nearly dollars 500,000 (pounds 340,000) in the last two weeks, and Ballesteros are hell-bent on winning it. When they teed off at 8.40am in the company of the French players, Jean Van de Velde and Christian Cevaer, there were 28 spectators present but by the time they reached the turn, several hundred more Parisians had stirred from their beds and they had as much to cheer from Van de Velde and Cevaer as from the Spaniards.

As the new Masters champion, Olazabal, of course, is on cloud nine and between shots, he and Ballesteros kept up a running dialogue. Their only bogey in two days came at the seventh where Ballesteros left a putt four feet short and his partner missed it. Olazabal was furious with himself.

When they sat down in the press tent, tea was served to Ballesteros. 'What about Jose?' Seve asked. 'He's an honorary member of the club.' Ballesteros had to get the dig in some time. At the beginning of the week, the president of Saint- Cloud gave honorary membership to the younger Spaniard but not the elder. Ballesteros was in a mischievous mood. As to the little matter of Olazabal's name tag on his Green Jacket being spelt Olazabel, Ballesteros said: 'You know what the Americans are like. I've been going there for 18 years and they still don't know how to say my name.'

The half-way cut was made at four under par and the field of 60 partnerships was reduced to 30 for the last two rounds. D J Russell and Peter Baker, who led after the first round with a better ball score of 58, are at 14 under par following a 68 in the foursomes and have been caught by another English duo, Russell Claydon and Paul Eales. Ballesteros and Olazabal are lying third, four strokes behind.

Russell and Baker, both Midlanders, have been travelling companions for eight years. 'We know each other's weaknesses,' Russell said. 'You've got to put your heads together. Just look at Seve and Olly.'

TOURNOI PERRIER DE PARIS FOURSOMES Second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 126 R Claydon and P Eales 60 66; P Baker and D J Russell 58 68. 130 S Ballesteros and J-M Olazabal (Sp) 63 67. 131 M Mouland and J Spence 62 69; O Edmond and F Cupillard (Fr) 65 66; M Pinero and J-M Canizares (Sp) 63 68. 132 F Regard and J Remesy (Fr) 65 67. 133 T Levet and M Pendaries (Fr) 62 71; A Sherborne and P Curry 65 68; J Van de Velde and C Cevaer (Fr) 66 67; M Roe and R Lee 64 69. 134 K Waters and R Mann 65 69; J Arruti and T Munoz (Sp) 65 69; P Lawrie and S McAllister 66 68; M Davis and D R Jones 66 68; R Berhorst and A Cejka (Ger) 65 69; S Richardson and P Mitchell 65 69; G J Brand and G Ralph 65 69. 135 I Gervas and D Hospital (Sp) 66 69; R Goosen (SA) and G Evans 66 69; A Forsbrand and V Forsbrand (Swe) 66 69; A Garrido and I Garrido (Sp) 65 70; O Sellberg and N Fasth (Swe) 64 71. 136 D Smyth and P McGinley 68 68; M Wills and R Burns 66 70; M-A Jimenez and J Rivero (Sp) 66 70; J Lomas and M Tunnicliff 65 71; H Selby-Green and J Robson 66 70; J Quiros and D Borrego (Sp) 63 73; M Besanceney and J Guepy (Fr) 67 69.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions