The top European and Asian players stepped up their preparations for the Royal Trophy with an official practice session yesterday morning. Among the players out on the course tuning their strokes and getting to know the 7,453-yard layout were Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, China ‘s Zhang Lian Wei and Japan ‘s Keiichiro Fukabori.

“We had a very good session today and our players are feeling good. It is a very good golf course and we are ready for battle. We are very serious about winning the Royal Trophy. Most of our players are already here in Thailand . Nick (Faldo) and Ian (Woosnam) arrive later today,” said European Team Captain Seve Ballesteros.

“Our players know most of the Asian players fairly well as they have played together in a number of European Tour events. We are serious, we are prepared and we will put on a high quality performance of golf,” added the Spanish legend with a confident look.

The players, Europeans and Asians alike, generally felt very comfortable with the mild weather presently in Bangkok as they played through the Amata Spring course. Both Captains spent a significant amount of time on the course.

“I enjoyed the round of golf and I hit the ball well. I am confident about our chances over the weekend,” said China ‘s golf ambassador Zhang Lian Wei.

Another point of attention was the fact that Amata Spring features a quite tight layout and the fans will be very close to the action creating a “warmer” atmosphere and potentially a stronger rapport between players and fans.

“The Amata Spring layout provides for the fans to be quite close to play which is great for the spectators. They will feel very much like they are right in the center of the matches. Naturally, it could also increase the impact that fans could have on the matches,” said Lincoln Venancio, the Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“We are very confident that the inaugural edition of the Royal Trophy will be a great success and will be truly enjoyable to the fans;” added Lincoln Venancio.

Following the morning practice, Asian Captain Kuramoto remained confident that the Asian Team will play well. “We have great players and they are quite comfortable with each other. I sincerely believe that team golf is very different to individual stroke play. The fans really can play a very critical role as we have seen so many times in the Ryder Cup. I am calling on the Asian people to come out to Amata Spring and support our Asian Team. These eight players on the golf course are your fellow Asians. We want to win the Royal Trophy for the people of Asia . We want to keep the Trophy in Asia but we need your support. Come out and cheer for Asia.”

The Royal Trophy - Europe vs Asia Golf Championship
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