Sensational victory for Europe
Europe produced a remarkable fightback in Sunday’s singles to claim a stunning 9-7 victory over Asia in the the Royal Trophy.
Europe produced a quite remarkable fightback in Sunday’s singles to claim a stunning 9-7 victory over Asia in the fifth edition of the Royal Trophy.
A whitewash in Saturday’s fourballs had left Asia in a commanding 6-2 lead and needing just 2½ points from the eight singles matches to triumph.
But Colin Montgomerie’s inspired Europe team hit back in brilliant fashion with player-captain Montgomerie leading from the front as they claimed six wins and two half points to retain the trophy.
The Europeans dominated from the start on the final day at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand and clawed back the deficit point-by-point until the contest came down to the final two matches out on the course.
Spaniard Pablo Martin claimed the crucial point as he beat Jeev Milkha Singh on the final hole to ensure victory, a superb chip on the 18th green setting up his win.
A delighted Montgomerie – who beat Korea’s Kim Kyung-tae 3&1 – commented afterwards: “To be 6-2 down against an Asian team playing so fantastic says an awful lot for Europe.
“To come back and to not lose a single game against this team is quite amazing.”
Peter Hanson led the European charge with a thumping 7&6 success over an out of sorts Liang Wenchong in the opening match, notching six birdies in the 12 holes played.
Fredrik Andersson Hed maintained the momentum with his eagle on the 13th proving the turning point in a 2&1 win over Japan’s Yuta Ikeda.
Noh Seung-yul looked poised to stop the rot for Asia as he led going down the last, but the South Korean youngster found a bunker on the 18th allowing Henrik Stenson, who holed Europe’s winning putt 12 months ago, to halve their match.
Wales’ Rhys Davies produced an assured display to comfortably overcome an erratic Ryo Ishikawa who bogeyed five times on the way to a 4&2 defeat.
Mongomerie moved ahead early and held on to his lead to level the match at 6½-6½ and Matteo Manassero then put Europe ahead as he finished one up against Shunsuke Sonoda.
That left the way clear for Martin to seal a memorable victory with Johan Edfors and Thongchai Jaidee finishing all square in the final singles encounter.
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