Rivals captains Y.E.Yang and Jose Maria Olazabal sent golf balls soaring high over Dragon Lake to signal the countdown to the start of the seventh Royal Trophy was well and truly under way. Their tee off was the climax of a glittering opening ceremony at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, with the European Team arriving to the accompaniment of an animated troupe of Spanish drummers.

Asian Captain Yang and European Team leader Olazabal both tried to claim a psychological victory as they drove off from the first tee at the spectacular King Course, each light–heartedly insisting he had out–driven this opponent.

The both probably wished they could have used one of the eight ceremonial cannons flanking the setting for the opening ceremony to blast the ball even further into the distance. But once the high fives with their players were over, the two Major champions shook hands warmly, signalling a brief thawing of relations after their feisty verbal exchange at the pre–Tournament news conference 24 hours earlier.

Attention will now switch to the Asian Games Course, where Asia and Europe will do battle over the next four days in a series of Foursomes, Four-ball and Singles matches.

The Royal Trophy - Europe vs Asia Golf Championship
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