Captain Colin Montgomerie and Graeme McDowell were the only home winners as holders Britain and Ireland made an awful start to the Seve Trophy at The Wynyard near Middlesbrough yesterday.
Continental Europe, with Jose Maria Olazabal now at the helm, lead 4-1 after the opening fourballs.
And within minutes of play finishing Montgomerie gathered his team, which includes six of last year's Ryder Cup heroes, behind closed doors.
"I'm not very happy," he said when he emerged. "There were certain things going on that will remain between ourselves.
"I said to them 'Come on - this is not quite good enough'. I want to make a game of this and we have to play better, as simple as that.
"They were listening and they are fired up now."
He has given each of his five pairs the chance to make amends, but will send them out in a different order this morning.
"I think I am the first captain who has gone 4-1 down and not switched a thing," added Montgomerie. "I felt very confident in my pairings before the start and I feel the same way."
Montgomerie and McDowell-registered the first point of the match, beating the Dutch-Italian combination of Maarten Lafeber and Emanuele Canonica 4&2.
But they then wanted in vain to congratulate any of their team-mates.
Ian Poulter and Nick Dougherty lost on the last to Thomas Bjorn and Henrik Stenson, while Welsh pair Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge suffered a 4&2 defeat to Olazabal and his compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez.
That left Britain and Ireland relying on the two partnerships which tasted success in the Ryder Cup last year, but there was no repeat.
David Howell and Paul Casey were two up after three on Swedes Niclas Fasth and Peter Hanson before losing 3&2 and then Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley saw a two-hole lead of their own turn into a finalgreen defeat to Frenchmen Thomas Levet and Jean-Francois Remesy.
All square with one to play after Harrington's 30-foot putt at the short 17th - McGinley had hit his tee shot to within three feet, in any case - it came down to whether Remesy and Harrington could hole from nine and seven feet respectively.
Remesy made his and the Dubliner missed.
"We are in a hole - we have a long way to come back from here," said McGinley, who lost to New Zealander Michael Campbell in the final of the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth last Sunday.
The match continues with five more fourballs today, followed by four greensomes and four foursomes tomorrow and ten singles on Sunday. Like the Ryder Cup, 28 points are up for grabs.
Olazabal, who has taken over from Seve Ballesteros as captain, stated: "It was a great day for us. Wonderful. The last match made a big difference. If it had gone the other way it would have been 3-2."
Montgomerie and McDowell-were never caught from the moment the Scot made a 25-foot eagle putt on the first.
His partner pitched to eight feet to win the 384-yard ninth with a birdie and Montgomerie started for home with two more to stretch their advantage to four - the second of them after McDowell had hit the flagstick with his approach.
Lafeber and Canonica kept their hopes alive by taking the next two, but they lost the 400-yard 15th and when neither could birdie the 601-yard 16th that was that.
McDowell was making his debut four years after being part of a winning Walker Cup side - Dougherty was a team-mate then as well - and said: "I loved it when I was told I was playing with Monty.
"He makes things easy. It's pretty automatic - middle of the fairway and hole some putts.
"I'm not 100 per cent happy with my game at the moment, but I was happy I hung in there and made some key putts." It was his 12-foot birdie on the 15th that was the real killer blow.
That was the first point on the board and Montgomerie then hurried across to see the conclusion of the top game - and very nearly was hit by Stenson's drive down the last.
Dougherty and Poulter had been behind since the second, but won the 16th to be only one down and then the Liverpool youngster missed an eight-foot chance to level things at the next.
Neither he nor his partner could hit their pitches within 20 feet on the 18th, however, and when both missed they shook hands.
Poulter said: "Between the two of you you should be making ten birdies here." They had a mere five.
Dodd and Dredge managed to post only three - all of them from Dredge - and Casey did not have one either while Howell, who has replaced him in England's team to defend the World Cup in November, had an eagle and four birdies.
Their opponents Fasth and Hanson produced the best scoring, nine under for 16 holes, and Harrington and McGinley's seven under 64 was trumped by the French duo's 63.
Olazabal has not changed any of his pairings either. That was not a hard decision.