Asia defeats Europe for first Royal Trophy title


BANGKOK, Thailand ' Asia captured the Royal Trophy for the first time on Sunday, despite losing the singles session to the European squad.
The Asian team only took 3 1/2 points of the available eight on Sunday, but it was enough to win the trophy by a final score of 10-6.
With a 6 1/2 - 1 1/2 lead heading into the Sunday singles, Asia needed only two points to win the championship at Amata Spring Country Club.
Prayad Marksaeng of Asia demolished Pablo Larrazabal, 5 and 4, to get his side its first point. The trophy was Asia's when Toru Taniguchi toppled Niclas Fasth, 7 and 6.
The first match Sunday was the only one halved. Ryo Ishikawa and Soren Hansen each took the lead three different times, but when Ishikawa birdied 17 that squared the match and the pair halved 18 to each earn half a point.
The European side won the next two matches when 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie defeated Wen-Chong Liang, 3 and 2 and Nick Dougherty held off Charlie Wi, 1-up.
Marksaeng won the fourth match, but Europe rallied a little.
Oliver Wilson handled Hideto Tanihara, 3 and 2, then Johan Edfors easily dispatched S.K. Ho, 5 and 4.
Asia won the final two matches with Taniguchi cruising to victory and Thongchai Jaidee pummeling Paul McGinley, 5 and 4, in the anchor match.
Seve Ballesteros stated he will return next year to guide the European team. His replacement this year, Jose Maria Olazabal, said afterwards that his former Ryder Cup teammate would be back to reclaim the trophy.
'He is recovering from some health issues, but even though I'm the captain this year, I might not be the captain next year ' and I can assure you he is going to be tougher than I was,' Olazabal said of his friend.
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