A double-header of live international matchplay golf takes centre stage on Sky Sports this weekend as it covers the 2013 Seve Trophy in Paris and the 10th Presidents Cup from Ohio.
Great Britain & Ireland have held a vice-like grip on the Seve Trophy, winning the last six encounters with Continental Europe only tasting success the once in the inaugural contest in 2000.
But European captain Jose Maria Olazabal is looking to correct that statistic at St-Nom-La-Bretèche in Paris this week by overcoming Sam Torrance’s young GB & I team.
An experienced Continental Europe team features five Ryder Cup players, all led by captain Olazábal, who steered Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2012.
Continental Europe includes three of the Spaniard’s stars from the ‘Miracle at Medinah’, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Swede Peter Hanson and Italian Francesco Molinari, as well as two of his vice captains, Denmark’s Thomas Björn, the winner of the Omega European Masters, and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez.
They will be joined at St-Nom-La Bretèche Golf Club by Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and Italian Matteo Manassero, who played in the contest in 2007 and 2011 respectively, and three debutants, Frenchman Grégory Bourdy, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.
Sam Torrance, the victorious 2002 European Ryder Cup Captain, will lead a weakened Great Britain & Ireland team, with many of the top players choosing to skip this events due to their busy schedules and proximity to the FedEx Cup finale.
His team does includes Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, another member of last year’s historic Ryder Cup team, and Englishman Paul Casey, a three-time Ryder Cup player.
Englishman Chris Wood, who was undefeated on his last appearance in 2009, returns to the fold, along with Scotland’s Marc Warren, who last featured in 2007, and Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, who were both part of the victorious team two years ago.
There are also four debutants, with the English trio of Tommy Fleetwood, David Lynn, and Simon Khan joined by Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.
The event format will be similar to previous editions, the only slight alteration coming on Saturday which will now consist of two sessions of four foursomes contested instead of four morning greensomes followed by four afternoon foursomes.
The rest of the format remains the same, with a series of five fourball matches on each of the first two days and ten singles on the final day. As with The Ryder Cup, a team requires 14½ points for victory.
Following on from the conclusion of each day’s play in France, attention switches to across the pond as the 10th edition of the Presidents Cup takes place at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Two legends of golf lead their teams into battle for the 2013 trophy as three-time Major winner Nick Price’s international team challenge Fred Couples’ American outfit in a format akin to the Ryder Cup.
No European players are selected for the international team.
Couples, who captained the Americans to victories in 2009 and 2011, has named a strong team including Tiger Woods, Open champion Phil Mickelson and PGA Champion Jason Dufner.
Four-time Major winner Ernie Els and Masters champion Adam Scott are among the international ranks.
The competition begins on Thursday with six four-ball matches.
Teams of two compete in foursomes matches on Friday, with both four-ball and foursome ties on Saturday.
The event culminates on Sunday with 12 singles contests.
Sky Sports will broadcast extensive live coverage of both the Seve Trophy and Presidents Cup over the weekend of October 3-6.
Rob Lee presents the action from France, with commentary led by Bruce Critchley, Steve Beddow, Jean Van der Velde, Paul McGinley and Mark Roe, plus on-course reports from Ross McFarlane, Richard Boxall, Howard Clark.
David Livingstone introduces Sky Sports’ coverage of the Presidents Cup each day alongside special guest Peter Oosterhuis, while Sky regulars Ewen Murray and Wayne Riley will be part of the international commentary feed.
.Thursday 3rd October Seve Trophy: Day 1 Fourballs LIVE: 10.30am-4.30pm Sky Sports 1 Presidents Cup: Day 1 Fourballs LIVE: 4.30pm-11.00pm Sky Sports 1 Friday 4th October Seve Trophy: Day 2 Fourballs LIVE: 10.30am-4.30pm Sky Sports 1 Presidents Cup: Day 2 Foursomes LIVE: 6.00pm-11.00pm Sky Sports 1 Saturday 5th October Seve Trophy: Day 3 Foursomes LIVE: 7.30am-5.00pm Sky Sports 2 Presidents Cup: Day 3 Fourballs & Foursomes LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm Sky Sports 2 Red Button LIVE: 5.00pm-11.00pm Sky Sports 3 Sunday 6th October Seve Trophy: Day 4 Singles LIVE: 10.00am-4.30pm Sky Sports 2 Presidents Cup: Day 4 Singles LIVE: 4.30pm-11.00pm Sky Sports 2