Europeans stun Asians at Royal Trophy
BY Bruce Young | 22 Dec 2013
The Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou in Southern China today bore witness to a remarkable comeback by a European side which defeated a side incorporating players from the Asian region in a Ryder Cup like format.
Leading into the final day’s single’s Asia led the Europeans 5 to 3 and early on in today’s final round that lead was extended to four. The Asians however would lose five of their last six matches to succumb 8.5 to 7.5.
The European side was missing its leading players, the highest world ranked player in their team the world number 52, Bernd Wiesberger.
The Asian side’s leading world ranked player was number 46, Thongchai Jaidee, while the impressive Asian Tour’s number one player in 2013, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, performed well.
Just what the event proved given the absence of the stars of the game is arguable but there is litle doubt it was a stoic and thrilling comeback by the Europeans.
In three months time yet another Europe verses Asia contest will take place when the Asian Tour and European Tour backed Eurasia Cup is played in Malaysia.
The European side’s captain this week Jose Maria Olazabal vented his thoughts on the Eurasia Cup suggesting the event was unnecessary.
“I know the European Tour sanctioned this event for two years and then a split occurred for some reason", he said in a statement. "But I do think they must sit down with the Royal Trophy people and work out their differences, because it is such an important issue.
“We do not need another Asia v Europe match involving a maximum of 20 players when we already have a well-established Royal Trophy. But we do need more full-field events, and I know other players feel the same way.”
The Royal Trophy is essentially backed by the China Golf Association, the Japan Golf Tour and One Asia with the underlying support of the World Sports Group.