AOKI, OZAKI AND SINGH JOIN THE ROYAL TROPHY PLAYERS’ COMMITTEE



The Royal Trophy Players’ Committee, originally comprised of six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, former world number one Ian Woosnam OBE, two-time Masters champion José Maria Olazábal and highly successful Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley, has been expanded to include an additional three members from the Asian region.

“We are very pleased to confirm that the Royal Trophy Players’ Committee will now feature an European and an Asian Division. Japanese golfing legend Isao Aoki has been nominated Chairman of the Asian Players’ Committee with four-time Asian Team Captain Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki and three-time Asian Team member Jeev Milkha Singh being appointed as inaugural members,” stated Lincoln Venancio, the Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“This is a major step in the development of the Championship and we are delighted to have these three great golf ambassadors in leadership roles with the Royal Trophy. Three additional positions have been reserved for appointments to the Asian Players’ Committee later this year; one for a member from China, a second for a member from Korea and a final position is presently under consideration,” added Lincoln Venancio.

The Royal Trophy Players’ Committee holds the responsibility of steering the Championship into the future and directing the Competition towards the core objectives of honoring the legacy of the late legendary Seve Ballesteros – the visionary of the Competition who passed away in May of 2011 following a most courageous battle against brain cancer; promoting golf in all parts of Asia, Europe and the world and providing a wholesome sporting inspiration to the youth.

“Seve Ballesteros was a good friend and made an immense contribution to golf. Chairing the Royal Trophy Asian Players’ Committee is as a great honor and a very important responsibility for me. I am committed to support the growth of the Competition in the manner Seve envisioned from the beginning; building it into one of the world’s great sporting competitions,” stated Isao Aoki.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Naomichi Ozaki and Jeev Milkha Singh at the Asian Players’ Committee. I also very much look forward to cooperating in the broader Players’ Committee with our European friends and counterparts Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, José Maria Olazábal and Paul McGinley,” added the Japanese golfing great.

“As Captain of the Asian Team for the past four editions of the Royal Trophy, I have experienced first-hand the tremendous competitiveness and excitement the Matches generate and the great inspiration and promotion for golf it provides. It is difficult to describe the enormity of the pride and responsibility of leading Asia. It is extremely special,” said thirty-five-time tournament-title winner Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki who led Asia to its first ever victory at the Royal Trophy in 2009.

“I am truly honored to join the Royal Trophy Asian Players’ Committee,” added Ozaki.

“On behalf of the Japan Golf Tour Organization, we are very pleased with the expansion of the Royal Trophy Players’ Committee to now feature three Asian members. This is a significant and positive step forward in the long-term growth of this great Competition,” stated Chief Tournament Director and Japan Golf Tour Executive Director, Andy Yamanaka.

“It will be an honor to work together with these seven great players and representatives of our sport in the Royal Trophy. The Royal Trophy is well positioned to grow into a truly magnificent Championship,” added Andy Yamanaka.

The five inaugural editions of the Royal Trophy were played in the Kingdom of Thailand with Asia recording a historic first-ever victory in 2009; Sweden’s Henrik Stenson securing victory for Europe on the 18th green of the final singles match of an extremely closely fought contest in 2010 and Colin Montgomerie leading the Europeans to a dramatic recovery on the final day of matches in 2011 – reversing a 2-6 deficit to prevail by 9-7.

The next edition of the Royal Trophy will be held on 14-16 December 2012 at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in the Sultanate of Brunei. The Matches will be held as a tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros and the European and Asian Teams will be captained respectively by José Maria Olazábal and Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki. Eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie is the first player nominated by Olazábal for the European defense of the Trophy.

“We are delighted to have been selected as the Host Venue for this historic sixth edition of the Royal Trophy. Our entire team at The Empire Hotel & Country Club is looking forward to hosting the two legendary Captains, their respective Asian and European Teams, the dignitaries attending the Championship and all of the spectators. The week of 10 December 2012 promises to be an unforgettable time for golf in Asia when the leaders of the business of golf come together for the Asia Pacific Golf Summit, the best players in Europe and Asia represent their respective Continents in this remarkable match-play Competition and golf aficionados worldwide are treated to team golf of the most competitive and highest level. We are honored to host such a major occasion for golf and sports,” stated Desmond Acheson, General Manager of the palatial Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The sixth edition of the Royal Trophy will be immediately preceded by the 2012 Asia Pacific Golf Summit – an event firmly established as one of the world’s leading business gatherings for the golf industry. The Summit will feature eight-time European Tour Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie as Key Note Speaker – with past main participants including Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Peter Thompson, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Tony Jacklin and Robert Trent Jones II.

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