Royal Trophy back on 2009 Asian Tour calendar


Bangkok : The Royal Trophy returns to the calendar in the second week of January and will mark the start of the 2009 season for the Asian Tour.

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The event which is co-sanctioned with Japan Golf Tour and European Tour sees Europe’s eight-strong team clash with Asia at Amata Spring Country Club. The event will be held Jan 9-11.

The teams from both sides will be announced soon.

This will be the third edition of the Royal Trophy and replaces the contest planned for January 2008, which was postponed when Thailand entered a period of mourning over the passing of Princess Galyani Vadhana, the elder sister of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Europe’s attempt to win the match-play tournament for a third consecutive time will now take place at the exclusive Bangkok golf course at the start of 2009.

The Royal Trophy features eight-man teams from Asia and Europe, led by non-playing captains, competing in 16 matches for stewardship of the Royal Trophy, which was graciously donated by Thailand king.

Europe won the inaugural contest 9-7 in January 2006 and retained the Royal Trophy with a convincing victory last year.

Thoughts, of course, will be with Seve Ballesteros, who led Europe to victory on both occasions, in his ongoing battle following surgery to remove a brain tumour.

The Royal Trophy will once again see four foursomes matches open proceedings Friday Jan 9, with four fourball matches Saturday Jan 10. The contest will close with eight singles matches Sunday Jan 11.

A team requires eight-and-a-half points for an outright victory.

“The Royal Trophy will give us the opportunity to showcase Asia’s growing strength against Europe. The standard of golf in Asia is on the rise and we are confident of putting up a strong challenge for The Royal Trophy next year,” said Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman, Asian Tour.

Keith Waters, Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We look forward to the return of The Royal Trophy following last year’s postponement and I’m sure it will be as keenly contested, and played in the same spirit, as the first two.