Captain Olazábal Completes Formidable European Team for the Royal Trophy


European Team Captain José Maria Olazábal has added strength and length to his group of magnificent players assembled to confront Asia’s strongest ever line-up at the seventh edition of the Royal Trophy to be held on 20-22 December at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China.

The legendary Ryder Cup captain and player has sent a warning shot to the Asian continent bringing together two of the world’s longest hitters in Nicolas Colsaerts and Álvaro Quirós – setting up a pair that promises to relentlessly attack the par five holes at Dragon Lake Golf Club and provide enormous entertainment to golf fans. Belgian Colsaerts was the hero of the European victory over the Americans at the latest Ryder Cup, when he delivered the greatest debut in the history of the tournament. Standing a 1.91 meters tall, Spaniard Quirós is one of the most charismatic and popular players in the world and the winner of 6 European tournament titles – including the Dubai World Championship, the Dubai Desert Classic and the Open de España.

David Howell is a former winner of the HSBC Champions – and in that occasion prevailed over Tiger Woods in the final round of the prestigious event in Shanghai. He was one of the stars of the European Ryder Cup team for the record-breaking victory at Oakland Hills in 2004 and is the winner of six professional tournament titles – including the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship, the European PGA Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic. A member of the European Team for the inaugural edition of the Royal Trophy, under the captaincy of the legendary Seve Ballesteros, the Englishman adds significant team match-play proficiency and experience to Olazábal’s golfing army.

The Spaniard strategic genius Olazábal, who together with the late legendary Seve Ballesteros formed the greatest pair in Ryder Cup history, added an element of youth to his team with Denmark’s 23-year-old Thorbjørn Olesen – who tied for sixth place at The Masters at Augusta National this year; and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger – hot from outstanding seasons in 2012 and 2013 which brought him a career-changing victory at the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.

The powerful Scottish trio of Paul Lawrie – a British Open champion, Stephen Gallacher – winner of the Dubai Desert Classic in 2013 and Marc Warren – who together with former Royal Trophy Captain Colin Montgomerie secured Scotland’s first-ever victory at the World Cup of Golf in 2007, complete the line-up to face Asian Team Captain Y.E. Yang’s golf stars in southern China.

Captain Olazábal said: “I am honoured to captain the European Team for the third time and look forward to a great match.

“Asian professional golf continues to experience dramatic improvement and I am aware of the strength of the Asian Team this year. Nevertheless, we are travelling to China to win the match and bring the majestic Trophy back to Europe.

“Dragon Lake Golf Club plays a very important role in the further development of this magnificent competition between Europe and Asia as the host venue for the matches in 2013 and 2014. We are truly thankful for their support,” conclude the two-time Master champion and winner of 30 professional career titles.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Captain José Maria Olazábal and his team to China. He has brought together a great combination of experience, youth and power – also showcasing very strong team golf experience,” said Ivan Ballesteros, Royal Trophy Managing Director.

“The seventh edition of the Royal Trophy promises to be a phenomenal event,” concluded Ivan Ballesteros.

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