RYO VOWS TO DO BETTER AT ROYAL TROPHY


Ryo Ishikawa has warned Europe’s golfers he was not happy with his performance in last year’s Royal Trophy, and is determined to step up a gear to inspire an Asian victory.

Asia’s most famous golfer failed to build on the morale-boosting victory he and fellow Japanese golfer Koumei Oda inflicted on Colin Montgomerie and Pablo Martin in the first match of the 2010 Competition.

He suffered heavy defeats in the Fourballs and Singles, and with Asia losing by just one point, Ishikawa knows he could tip the balance this time if he is at his brilliant best.

He said: “I feel that my performance in 2010 was not as satisfactory as I wanted it to be. But I am looking forward very much to this fifth edition of the Royal Trophy.

“It is a way for me to start the year well, but my focus is not on myself. My focus is to win the Royal Trophy for the Asian Team. Teamwork is a good quality of this group of Asian players, and it is something that has become closer and stronger over the past five years.

“We have three young Japanese players on the team, and four in all from the Japan Golf Tour, which shows how much golf is rising in Japan. But all eight players on the team are strong and determined. We are together and our purpose is to regain the Royal Trophy in 2011. Our goal is to win for our Continent.

“We had a good win in 2009 and gave an extremely strong European Team a good fight last year, and we want to go that little bit further again this time.”

Ishikawa admitted he is just as keen as the rest of the golfing world to see him paired with Europe’s own teenage superstar, Matteo Manassero, in the Singles.

He added: “Matteo is the youngest player in the Royal Trophy this year – in the past that has usually been me !

“I know him, and know he is a very good player, and I am excited to see him playing in this Competition. I will be looking forward to playing against him if we are paired together. It will be an exciting match for me, but I would also be quite nervous. I know it would get a lot of attention.

“But even though this is my third Royal Trophy appearance, I do not see myself as a leader of the Asian Team. Like my team-mates I will be looking to our Captain, Naomichi Ozaki, for guidance and help in leading us to victory.

“I want to be one of the pillars of the Team, to support the Team effort that will see us emerge victorious. I feel the Royal Trophy is growing all the time, with great media interest, and I look forward to another great Match this year.”

Ishikawa was joined on the flight to Thailand by another prolific winner on the Japan Golf Tour, Yuta Ikeda. He was forced to withdraw from the 2010 Royal Trophy after suffering a wrist injury, and is determined to make up for lost time.

He said: “I was very disappointed at having to pull out of the Asian Team in 2010, so it is even more exciting to be part of the Royal Trophy in 2011.

“It is a great competition being played at a world class golf course, so I am looking forward to it very much.”

“Ryo Ishikawa is a truly special player. His golfing ability is fantastic and his manners and attitude with his peers, the fans and the media are truly exemplary;” said Lincoln Venancio, the Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“We look forward to watching him play for Asia at the Fifth Edition of the Royal Trophy. He is always a very exciting player to follow and we are confident that he will produce great golf later on this week;” concluded Lincoln Venancio.

The Fifth Edition of the Royal Trophy is co-organized by the Sports Authority of Thailand, the Prachuap Khirikhan Province, the Hua Hin Municipality and Entertainment and Sports Co., Ltd. The Championship is promoted internationally by Entertainment Group Limited.

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