PARIS (Reuters) - Continental Europe won the Seve Trophy for the first time since the inaugural event in 2000 when they beat Britain and Ireland 15-13 on Sunday.
The teams were locked at 9-9 after Saturday's foursomes but, once again, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy proved a terrific asset and became the first player to win all five matches in the same Seve Trophy encounter by beating Scott Jamieson 5&3 in the singles at St Nom La Breteche.
The only other player with a perfect record in the Seve Trophy was Ballesteros himself who had won two out of two in 2002.
"Very emotional. It has been a tough day," Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal said on the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com).
"Everything went to the last match. The boys really played well today and I'm very, very happy to have won the Seve Trophy this time. It was going to go down to the last three matches at least.
"We had a pretty good start, then Britain and Ireland took over and we started to see some reds on the board. But the boys kept their composure and played really well, especially these last few matches, they played really great golf," added the Spaniard.
Britain and Ireland had won the six previous editions of the event but their captain Sam Torrance conceded Europe were the strongest team this time.
"They were very strong. We gave it everything, but came out just short," he said.
Englishman Simon Khan was forced out of the singles with a back injury and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn stepped aside for Europe, meaning both teams earned half a point each and the day started at 9-1/2 all.
Dutchman Joost Luiten, who had won his first four matches, lost to Tommy Fleetwood 3&2 in the first singles completed, just before Bourdy scored his fifth point of the encounter.
Matteo Manassero beat Stephen Gallacher 3&2 before Miguel Angel Jimenez prevailed 6&4 over David Lynn to put Europe within half a point of victory.
Paul Lawrie pulled one back by beating Mikko Ilonen 2&1, but Francesco Molinari bagged the winning point with a 3&2 win over Chris Wood.
Italian Molinari had already been in the anchor role in last year's European victory in the Ryder Cup.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer and Alison Wildey)