Dyson cleans up as Bjorn stews

Yorkshireman seizes his chance but it's all 'a bit too boring' for European captain

The tedious bit is over. Or that is how Thomas Bjorn, the captain of Continental Europe, views the first two days of the Vivendi Trophy. The Dane, who also happens to be the influential chairman of the Players Committee, yesterday expressed his belief that the Ryder Cup should not, as has been suggested, follow this event's model and go to four days. Why? Because it's "a bit too boring".

Bjorn's honest assessment may just cause a few startled expressions in the sponsor's tent. "The Ryder Cup should stay at three days and why I say that is because I think these [first two days] are a bit too boring," he said. "There's not enough going on and they are not important enough. There's not enough points being put on the board for it to be exciting."

Bjorn's theory is well-founded, as only 10 points are up for grabs on the Thursday and Friday and then 18 on the weekend. However, obviously it will not do much to elevate this event's standing. Perhaps it doesn't need elevating and works entirely well as it is. The Seve Trophy, as the event was known prior to this year, always has been many things to many people.

To the money men it is the Vivendi Trophy; to many in the media it is a pale imitation; while to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño it has been the chance to admonish the Spanish prime minister live on air. Yet perhaps Oliver Wilson and Simon Dyson summed up yesterday what it means to the boys who truly count. For the young players it is the chance to prove – or in their case reaffirm – that they know exactly what is required in a team event.

In the fourballs what is needed are birdies and the English pair just happened to have 11 of them in their 2&1 defeat of Henrik Stenson and Alvaro Quiros. This match was the high-class opening to a high-class day, which saw Great Britain and Ireland take a 6-4 lead with today's greensomes and foursomes and tomorrow's singles to come. Having comfortably seen off the middle-ranked talents of Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson on Thursday, Paul McGinley pitched the duo against two veritable top-rungers in Stenson and Quiros.

It was another canny move on the Irishman's behalf. If they had been allowed to play the last they could have carded a 59 – a magical number whatever the format. Dyson, in particular was utterly inspired, continuing his astonishing run of form with seven birdies. Quite a turnaround from where he was on Wednesday morning – confined to his hotel room with food poisoning.

"I was at death's door," said the Yorkshireman. "I wouldn't have believed it would turn out so well. Ollie and I wanted to play together after the way we played in this match two years ago and we gelled together once again." They have now won four out of five in their matches together.

They are not McGinley's only 100-percenters here. Chris Wood and Anthony Wall were once again impressive in dismantling Miguel Angel Jimenez and Soren Kjeldsen 3&2. But there was an unexpected defeat for Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, beaten 3&1 by Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari. The Dane and Italian have won their two matches, as has Fernandez-Castaño. Yesterday's victory was an archetypal nerve-trembler as the Spaniard holed a three-footer on the 18th to deny Robert Rock and Steve Webster. Whatever Bjorn may say about the gripping nature of it all, this could yet prove a vital point for his team.

It's certainly been an interesting week for Fernandez-Castaño. On the first day he was walking from green to tee, unpeeling a banana as a television cameraman shoved a lens under his nose. Here was his opportunity. "Un mensaje para Zapatero: nos vas a dejar en pelotas a todos," he said. ("Message to Zapatero. You're going to strip us all naked.")

The outburst apparently caused an outcry in his country and in a statement the golfer felt obliged to apologise to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "I won't do it again," he said yesterday. But what is his gripe, what has his PM done? "Nothing – that's exactly the point," he said. "We have five million unemployed and he doesn't do anything." With that he stomped off; this strange mix of golfing ecstasy and political indignancy. Gonzo's been making his points all over the place here.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine