Led by Montgomerie, Europe guns for fourth Royal Trophy win over Asia

colin montgomerie
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Unlike the Ryder Cup, Colin Montgomerie will serve as a playing captain this weekend.
PA Sport


Published: Thursday, January 06, 2011 | 12:37 p.m.

Colin Montgomerie will captain another European side this weekend when the Royal Trophy gets under way on Friday.

But Montgomerie, who led Europe to a thrilling Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Celtic Manor in October, will also be a player this time as Europes take on the Asian team led by Joe Ozaki.


The Royal Trophy is a five-year-old Ryder Cup-style event matching eight-man teams from Europe and Asia.

The fifth edition of the Ryder Cup-style team contest will take place at Black Mountain Golf Club, with Europe looking for a fourth victory.

After Asia's first victory by four points in 2009, Montgomerie captained Europe to a one-point win last year, the same margin of victory at Celtic Manor.

None of the victorious Ryder Cup team will compete in Thailand, although vice-captain Thomas Bjorn and player/assistant Rhys Davies will be reunited with Montgomerie, who can also call upon the services of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Peter Hanson and Johan Edfors, Italian prodigy Matteo Manassero and Spain's Pablo Martin.

Stenson missed out on a third Ryder Cup in 2010 after a poor season by his standards, but has gladly swapped a snowplow for his golf clubs in Thailand. The 34-year-old was greeted on site by teammate Edfors, who bought a villa overlooking the course after winning the Black Mountain Masters in 2009.

"Johan took great delight in telling me that while I was freezing back home in Sweden, the temperatures climbed as high as 32 degrees above (90 degrees Farenheit),” Stenson said. "This time last week I was driving a snowplow, because there was at least half a meter of snow everywhere, and it was twice as deep in places.

"Now all I want to do is drive a golf ball, and enjoy this great weather. While I was at home we went skiing and had snowball fights,” he added. "I feel happy and refreshed after my break and I cannot wait to get started."

Ozaki is a non-playing captain of the Asian team, which features Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda and Shunsuke Sonoda of Japan; Noh Seung-yul and Kim Kyung-tae of Korea; Jeev Milkha Singh of India; Liang Wen-Chong of China; and Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng.

Friday and Saturday will feature four foursomes matches, with eight singles deciding the outcome on Sunday.