Ozaki stays on as Asia captain

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Japan’s Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki has retained his position as Asia captain for next year’s Royal Trophy against Europe.

Japan’s Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki has retained his position as Asia captain for next year’s Royal Trophy against Europe.

Ozaki, 55, has captained the Aisan team in the last four encounters of the match-play battle, taking over from compatriot Masahiro Kuramoto, who was in charge for the inaugural event back in 2006.

2012’s event will take place in Brunei from 14 – 16 December and will be played in honour of Seve Ballesteros, Europe’s captain for the first two years. Ballesteros died in May after a long battle with brain cancer.

“I am certain that the eight members of the Asian Team will play their hearts out in honour of Seve’s career and life,” said Ozaki, whose sole success as captain came in 2009.

“I have great memories of Seve during my years playing full-time internationally, of the times he played in our tour in Japan and of captaining against him at the Royal Trophy in 2007.”

Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal will lead the European side, taking over from Colin Montgomerie, who was in charge earlier this year when the Europeans won 9-7 in a close encounter.

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