Asia claim Royal Trophy after playoff with Europe | Pakistan Today

Asia claim Royal Trophy after playoff with Europe

Asia won the Royal Trophy by the tightest of margins on Sunday, edging Europe in a sudden death playoff to complete a stunning comeback in the team match play competition after the contest had finished level at 8-8.
South Korean Kim Kyung-tae rolled in a 15ft birdie putt on the 18th, the first playoff hole, as he and compatriot Yang Yong-eun saw off Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari of Italy in the fourball decider at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei.\ Asia’s second win in the sixth edition of the annual contest loosely based on the Ryder Cup model then drew a ‘Gangnam Style’ celebratory dance from Japanese captain Joe Ozaki.
“I am so proud of all my players, but especially K.T. Kim. It was a great Royal Trophy and a great way to finish,” Ozaki said during the presentation ceremony.
The narrow defeat capped a disappointing day for Ozaki’s opposite number Jose Maria Olazabal, the Spaniard forced to pull out of his singles match before a ball was hit on Sunday because of a neck injury. With Olazabal’s withdrawal, each side added half a point to their overnight tally to leave the scores at 5-4 in Europe’s favour with 8 1/2 needed from the remaining seven singles matches to claim the title. Asia, who had trailed 3 1/2-1/2 after the opening day foursomes, began strongly on Sunday as they quickly raced into the lead in a majority of the matches before the European players found their form. Colsaerts recorded the first playing point of the day when he edged Korean Bae Sang-moon on the 18th hole.
Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano then holed an eight-foot birdie putt on the last, one of three he made over the final four holes, to tie with Kim. Their half point making it 6 1/2-4 1/2 and leaving Europe within sight of victory.
But the Asians fought back and Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto, who had been three down after 11 holes, rifled in a sharp approach to the last to overhaul German Marcel Siem and win 1-up to give the hosts their first victory of the day.
China’s Wu Ashan should have added a second as he led Italian Edoardo Molinari by three after 13 holes but the Italian fought back to claim a precious half point and make it 7-6.



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