MONTY AIMS TO TURN THE TABLES


Colin Montgomerie insisted Europe could still turn the tables on Asia and pull off an unlikely Royal Trophy victory by claiming at least six of the eight points on offer in the Singles.

That would be enough to take the competition into a sudden death play-off, and Montgomerie said that will be his team’s minimum target as they head into the final day trailing 6-2.

They need six-and-a-half points for outright victory – while Asia need just two-and-a-half after their historic clean sweep in the Four-balls, the first time either team has claimed maximum points from a session.

But Monty said if Asia can enjoy an all-conquering day, so can his team.

He commented: “It is a tough fight really; we need six points out of eight, minimum. Obviously our backs are against the wall, but at the same time, if that can happen to us today, that can happen to them tomorrow.

“It will be a tall order, but it will be a magnificent result if we can pull this off.”

European Team player-captain Montgomerie abandoned his usual policy of playing himself in one of the first two matches out so he can offer advice to the later starters, admitting it is a case of “every man for himself”.

He added: “To be honest I wanted to try and give my two most recent Ryder Cup players, Peter Hanson and Henrik Stenson, to give us some momentum.

“And we can all just carry on from there to hopefully make up the next four wins, so we’ll see how we do.

“As I say, golf’s a funny game. We can come back the way that Asia played today if we can play to our potential – and I mean all eight players.

“We have an opportunity to get to six-two, but my players have to play to their potential tomorrow which honestly we didn’t do today.”

Monty may be able to take some encouragement from the fact Europe won the Singles 6-2 in 2007 on their way to an emphatic victory.

But that was in rather different circumstances. That European team was in the process of overpowering their opponents – the same could be said of Asia this time.

And not surprisingly, Asian Captain Joe Ozaki was in a confident mood over the way the singles draw worked out.

He said: “For the Foursomes and Four-ball matches I needed an extra minute or two during the draw to work out which match-ups I wanted.

“But for the Singles my order was pretty much in place after our success so far, and most of the matchers fell the way I had planned.”

And Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, who will fill the anchor role he has occupied in all five editions of the Royal Trophy, looked equally confident of celebrating in front of his huge army of supporters.

He said: “Today was a very good day for me. I had a great partner and I played much better too. I can look forward to tomorrow. It will still be difficult but I seem to be playing better day by day.

“I played better in the Four-balls than the Foursomes, and hopefully, I will play better again in the Singles.”

“We congratulate the Asian Team on a fantastic day at Black Mountain today;” stated Lincoln Venancio, the Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“Team match play golf is a marvellous format which provides for great rivalries, remarkable unpredictability and constant volatility. We are looking forward to see what tomorrow will bring;” concluded Lincoln Venancio.

The Royal Trophy is held in Thailand under the authority of the Sports Authority of Thailand. The Championship is organized in Thailand by the Sports Authority of Thailand, the Prachuap Khirikhan Province, the Hua Hin Municipality and Entertainment and Sports Co., Ltd. The Competition is promoted internationally by Entertainment Group Limited.

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