Monty turns attention to Ryder Cup
Colin Montgomerie led Europe to Royal Trophy victory, then focused his attention on assessing potential Ryder Cup picks.
Colin Montgomerie led Europe to victory over Asia to reclaim the Royal Trophy then focused his attention on assessing potential picks for the Ryder Cup.
Swede Henrik Stenson kept his cool to make par from six feet to halve his match and secure an 8½- 7½ win for Europe over Asia at Amata Spring Country Club .
And Montgomerie said afterwards: “I just happen to be leading this particularly fantastic group of young talent coming into the Ryder Cup.
“There are a number of great, talented golfers in Europe and for the first time I really feel that we have a fantastic wealth of talent and we have just witnessed that this week.”.
The Scot, standing in for Seve Ballesteros as the Spaniard continues his recovery from brain surgery, assembled a team consisting of youth and experience for the tournament as they bounced back from last year’s 10-6 defeat to Asia.
Montgomerie said: “It was an honour to captain the team. We came here with a strong team and it was very, very close.
“All credit to my team for fighting. They all contributed at least a point out there this week and we did great.
“It is a very important year for European golf and this has been a good start for us and we hope to build on this throughout the year.”
Montgomerie had opted to include himself as a player as well as captaining the team in order to get a closer look at potential picks for his Ryder Cup team in October.
But the eight-time Order of Merit winner certainly played his part in the victory as he drew upon his vast experience of matchplay golf to keep his cool against Liang Wen-chong, matching the Chinese number one’s birdie on the last to ensure the game finished all square.
Koumei Oda claimed an unexpected point for the hosts with a dominant 5&3 win over Alexander Noren before Jeev Milkha Singh defeated Sweden’s Robert Karlsson 2&1.
But wins for Peter Hanson, Pablo Martin and Soren Kjeldsen meant it was down to the final match between Stenson and Thongchai Jaidee to determine the outcome.
Stenson was three down after nine holes but the world number seven battled back to level matters with three holes remaining.
However, a play-off seemed certain when Asia number one Thongchai coolly sank a birdie putt from eight feet on the 17th to go one up.
The Thai’s putt for par on the last shaved the lip before Stenson holed from seven feet to make par and secure the victory for Europe.
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