THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE AT ROYAL TROPHY


The Ryder Cup was officially born in 1927 as a biennial competition between professional golfers representing the U.S. and Great Britain. The format of play has evolved over the years – the event is now played between the USA and all of Europe, the intensity of the competition has continued to increase and the Ryder Cup captaincy has become one of the true great achievements of a prof es sional golf career.

Great names of the sport that have captained their respective teams in Ryder Cup competition include Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, J. H. Taylor, Tony Jacklin and Bernard Gallacher. But one man would change the image and role of a “golf team captain” for ever. In 1997 Seve Ballesteros led the European Team to a 14 1/2 – 13 1/2 win against the USA at Valderrama in his home country of Spain with an incredibly charismatic presence and playing a truly inspirational role. Following Ballesteros “active” and highly participatory style as a captain, the importance of being appointed Ryder Cup captain for Europe became phenomenal.

In 2005 Europe faced a difficult challenge, two great legends of the game were clearly deserving of the appointment of captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup matches to take place in Ireland. It was a very difficult choice between six-time major winner Nick Faldo and former Masters champion Ian Woosnam but the Europeans came up with a diplomatic eagle by, at one time, appointing Woosnam for the 2006 Cup and Faldo for the 2008 Cup; in this way treating both the Welshman and the Englishman with fairness.

The result of such decision is a very unique situation for the European Team for the inaugural Royal Trophy as it will count with the participation of a remarkable past Ryder Cup captain – Ballesteros, the present Ryder Cup captain – Ian Woosnam and the future Ryder Cup captain – Nick Faldo.

It is also exceptional that four players from the historic winning 1997 Ryder Cup European Team are featured in Ballesteros’ Royal Trophy line-up – in addition to Faldo and Woosnam, the Dane Bjorn will also be in Thailand.

“Seve and I together in a team anywhere, any day, anytime makes for a very special occasion. We go back a long way”; said Faldo, the former world, US PGA and European PGA #1.

“We have a great team for the Royal Trophy. We are coming to Thailand determined to win the Trophy and to take it back to Europe”, commented Ballesteros, commonly known as the man with the “touch of an angel” due to his angelic “hands” around the greens.

“With the presence of these legends of golf representing the European Team, it is certain that the inaugural edition of the Royal Trophy will be truly exceptional;” said Lincoln Venancio, the Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“We believe that the Royal Trophy and all of the great players who will participate in it over the years will make an immense contribution to the growth of golf in the Asian region;” added Lincoln Venancio.

The Royal Trophy - Europe vs Asia Golf Championship
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