JAPANESE LEGEND MASAHIRO KURAMOTO CONFIRMED AS ASIAN TEAM CAPTAIN AT INAUGURAL ROYAL TROPHY


Bangkok, October 27, 2005: Masahiro Kuramoto, one of Japan’s most decorated golfers, will mastermind Asia’s bid for glory in the inaugural Royal Trophy.

Winner of 30 Japan Golf Tour titles in a sparkling playing career, Kuramoto will pit his wits against Spanish great Severiano Ballesteros, who will lead a star-studded European Team in the prestigious Ryder Cup-style match play event at Amata Spring Country Club, Thailand on January 5-8, 2006.

“I am truly honoured to be selected to lead the Asian Team in this historic first edition of the Royal Trophy. This is a tremendous responsibility and I take it very seriously. I will do my very best in representing the three billion people of Asia,” vowed Kuramoto, who celebrated his 50th birthday last month.

Kuramoto, affectionately known as ‘Massy’ within the golfing fraternity, added: “I can assure the Asian people that our Team competing at the Royal Trophy will be very strong and will fight very hard to win the Trophy for our Continent.

“We will take the challenge of defeating Europe with the utmost commitment, dedication and the greatest fighting spirit.”

“To represent your country is a great honour. To represent your Continent has to be one of the proudest moments of a sportsman.”

A professional for more than two decades, Kuramoto received global acclaim for showing the confidence to test himself in the United States and Europe.

One of his finest and most memorable achievements came in the 1982 British Open when he finished fourth, just two shots shy of the triumphant Tom Watson. His last success in Japan came in the 2003 Acom International when he fired a record-breaking opening round of 59.

At a time when few Asian golfers travelled beyond the region, Kuramoto’s willingness to take on the world’s best players earned him widespread respect among his peers, including five-time Major champion Ballesteros.

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