José Maria Olazábal has thanked his Royal Trophy winners for removing the “last blot” on his captaincy record, as he followed the Miracle at Medinah with Glory at Guangzhou. And he revealed he is keen to maintain his close association with the hugely popular Event by returning to Dragon Lake Golf Club next year to help Europe defend the Trophy.

Europe’s incredible fightback to win the Singles session 5 ½ – 2 ½ – and reclaim the Royal Trophy by a slender one point margin – clearly took Olazábal back to the unforgettable final day rout of the USA at the Ryder Cup last year. After losing on both his previous outings as Europe’s Royal Trophy Captain, before guiding Continental Europe to victory in the Seve Trophy, he admitted he badly wanted to put the record straight against Asia in China.

And he would love to lead Europe for a fourth time at the same venue in Guangzhou next year, saying this competition has “a special place in my heart”, because it was founded by his legendary Ryder Cup partner, Seve Ballesteros.

Olazábal explained: “I am always happy to be here, because it is always an honour to be involved in something created by my great friend Seve.

“I know I have said this many times, but it means more to me knowing Seve started this Event. If I can contribute towards making this Event grow into the Asia v Europe equivalent of the Ryder Cup, the way he wanted it to, I am happy to help.

“And I want to thank my players for removing that last blot on my captaincy record. It is one that played on my mind, especially after we lost only in a play–off in 2012.

“This is the one Trophy I was missing, and the European team did a wonderful job in winning it for me, as well as for themselves.

“We are all so grateful to the sponsors, the organizers, and everyone who supports this wonderful Event for giving us the chance to make it happen, and we promise we will do our utmost to hold onto it when we come back to Dragon Lake in 2014.”

Olazábal believes Europe’s latest spectacular Singles fightback can only ignite further interest in the Royal Trophy, even though defeat was a bitter pill for the Asian Team to swallow.

He added: “I know how Asian Captain Y.E.Yang, Vice–Captain Zhang Lian–wei, and all their players must be feeling because we went through a similar experience by losing the play–off last year. And it was tough to take.

“All I can say to them is that they put up a heck of a fight, and they should be proud of the way they played for the first two and a half days of the competition. When they led 7–3, I don’t think anyone would have predicted the outcome, not even me.

“For us, winning is even sweeter after having the Royal Trophy ripped away from us last year. That is what the Asian Team should be telling themselves ahead of next year’s match.”

The seventh edition of the Royal Trophy was held on 20-22 December at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China. The next edition of the continental team match-play Championship will be held on 19-21 December 2014 and will remain at the same 54-hole host venue.

The Royal Trophy is sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, Asia’s premier and most traditional professional golf tour, and the China Golf Association, the People’s Republic’s governmental organization with authority for the sport. The Royal Trophy is also supported by the OneAsia Tour and the Competition’s Players’ Committee is comprised of six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, former world number one Ian Woosnam O.B.E., current European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, Olazábal, Japanese golfing legend Isao Aoki, five-time Asian Team Captain Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki and India’s most accomplished golfer Jeev Milkha Singh.

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