Asia closes gap in Royal Trophy


Asia closed within one point of Europe on Saturday in the Royal Trophy.

Europe leads, 4 1/2 to 3 1/2, going into Sunday's singles matches at the Empire Country Club in Brunei.

Europe, captained by Jose Maria Olazabal, needs four points in Sunday's eight singles matches to retain the trophy in the Ryder Cup-style competition. In five editions of the Royal Trophy, Asia has won only once.

On Saturday, Asia took three points from four fourball matches.

India's Jeev Milkha Singh and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand halved with Olazabal and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, with Singh making a 4-foot putt on the 18th to gain the draw.

South Koreans Kyung-Tae Kim and Y.E. Yang defeated Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Sweden's Henrik Stenson, 2 and 1. South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae and China's Wu Ashun halved with Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts and Germany's Marcel Siem.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and Yoshinori Fujimoto defeated Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, 3 and 1.